I have just been working my way through John Scott’s weekly compendiums of research reports for November and December (sadly, we are nowhere near as prompt at getting them onto the sites as he is at sending them to us) and I came across two really horrendous stories that he had sent me at the end of November.
The first was a report in the US Daily News about a severely dairy-allergic young man who died in prison as a result of eating oatmeal that was contaminated with dairy products. You can read the full report here – and watch the video here……
Essentially, in July 2012, this young man, Michael Saffioti, turned himself in at the Snohomish County Jail on relatively insignificant drugs charges. He had a history of drug abuse and had already been in this goal so they had his full medical records which included details of his allergy.
At breakfast time, even though he questioned it, he was given a standard breakfast tray which included porridge. The porridge had, as he found out to his cost, been contaminated with milk. But far worse was to come – you can see it all on the video.
As soon as he started to feel unwell he asked for a nurse, but instead of calling for help, the guards sent him to his cell ignoring his pleas. By the time they finally decided to check up on him, he was already unconscious and subsequent attempts to revive him failed.
His mother is now suing the county for $10 million in damages. Let us hope that she gets it – and in storm of publicity too.
The second horror story involves the relatively new therapy of faecal microbiota (or poo) transplants which is proving extremely successful in the treatment of a number of recalcitrant digestive conditions, especially infections by Clostridium Difficile. (You can read all about FMT on the FoodsMatter site here.) John saw this story posted on the pages of the Fecal Microbiota Transplant Facebook group. He told me:
I’ve just heard a very disturbing story of a US woman who did a home FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplant) with her child (her father donated his healthy poo to the child to help improve the health of child’s intestinal bacteria) and has had the girl removed by the child protection authorities as a result!
The child had participated in the Human Microbiome Project and the results revealed that her stomach contained 80% pathogenic, colitis-causing bacteria, yet her GI would only prescribe probiotics, despite years of unrelenting pain. The child’s father was the FMT donor and was tested by a doctor before the procedure, and the child’s condition improved significantly as a result of it.
But, unfortunately, the child’s GI found out, decided the parents were ‘practicing medicine illegally’ and reported them, with the result that the child protection services removed the girl from the home for four days. When she was returned, it was with a variety of stipulations regarding her medical care! (We assume that these did not include further FM transplants…)