COLUMBUS, OH – One local hospital’s fecal transplant donation bank is filled to the brim thanks to the groundswell of newly-minted interns on their first rotation. “We were in dire straights at the end of June,” said Dr. Edwin Buggs, Chair of the Infectious Disease Division. “Hospital C. diff rates were on the rise and we were down to our last nugget in the storeroom.”
With lives on the line, the hospital knew they had to act. Pathologist Dave Oddfellow was hired on as new lab director to manage the crisis. “He’s known for being pretty anal about specimen inventory, so we knew he was the right guy for this job,” Buggs said. “Dave had the revelation that our neophyte interns could actually be useful for something: providing copious amounts of stool,” she added. “The answer was right under our noses the whole time.”
On the cardiology floor, orthopedics intern Dr. Joe Gunshow was prolific, steadily producing donations during each of his 8 patient presentations on morning rounds. “It’s the EKGs, bro, when I got to that part and the attending asked me to read one, my rectum just started quivering! My best donation slid right out when the attending told me I was holding the paper upside-down.”
On his ICU rotation, PM&R intern Mike Gunshy became an unlikely hero, thanks to a combination of his baseline IBS and the Taco Bell breakfast he’d eaten. While pre-rounding, he was halfway through a thorough retinal exam when his elderly patient with C. diff and toxic megacolon rapidly deteriorated.
“I’d finally identified the macula when the nurses rushed in and called the code, apparently the patient’s heart had stopped and I didn’t notice. That’s when my IBS started acting up, and my bubble guts sharted out a liquid donation.” After stabilizing the patient, the team decided to use Mike’s generous gift for treatment.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said ICU Attending Mort Talidy. “By the end of the day, Mike’s fanny fudge had normalized the patient’s abdominal pressure.”
Gunshy, for his part, has shied away from the praise. “The nurses on the floor started calling me the ‘Brown Messiah,’ but I’m just glad I could help. It’s why I got into medicine: to save lives.”
As a result of all the success, Buggs decided to publish their findings and create a national Code Brown protocol. “Our goal is to make C. diff a disease of the past,” Buggs remarked. “When an intern makes a donation, we need to be there to collect. That’s why we’ve stationed Code Brown collection teams in every ICU. We also have a full-time team that just follows the psych interns around on their medicine rotations.”
Fittingly, the manuscript is set to appear in next month’s edition of Nature.