Get paid to poop? Czechia's first stool bank is seeking deposits

Eligible donors will help save the lives of patients with severe intestinal problems through the healthy bacteria in their feces. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 31.03.2023 15:18:00 (updated on 31.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Going to the toilet is something we do every day – but how would you imagine getting paid thousands of crowns for it? One hospital in Prague has opened Czechia’s first “stool bank,” which pays healthy people to donate their feces.

Healthy bacteria in stool

iDnes writes that the Thomayer University Hospital in Prague 4 is seeking feces donors to help treat very severe forms of clostridial infection – a bacterial, life-threatening illness that affects the digestive system and intestines. 

Healthy bacteria found in stool can be used on an unwell patient who is not responding well to antibiotics. The “healthy feces” is injected into the colon – known as a fecal transplant – which can help fight against the illness. 

Ideally, the feces are provided by family members, due to similar genetics. However, donors must have had a normal diet in the months prior and have no illnesses, which is not always possible.

Cash for your stool – but be healthy

That’s why Thomayer Hospital is calling on people to donate their stool – and is offering CZK 5,000 for doing so. It has called the project “Restore-Restart.” There are several countries around the world doing this, but this is a first for Czechia.

As well as having a clean bill of health, donors must be 18 to 65 years old and be non-smokers. 

Donors will first fill out a questionnaire, go through medical exams (such as blood tests), and then provide a stool sample to test the feces’ “eligibility.” 

The same examinations will then be repeated after three months, after which the potential donor’s suitability will be confirmed.

It's not all about the money

Associate Professor at Thomayer and member of the program Pavel Kohout does not want the initiative to become a purely commercial, for-profit attraction for the public that negates health. The website itself underlines that the cash offer is a “reimbursement, not reward.”

According to Kohout, hundreds of people have already enquired, with several already submitting stool samples. He hopes that the bank will be able to start providing hospitals with the samples by summer.

“CZK 5,000 is the amount intended to cover time and travel expenses as well as other costs associated with the examination of donors”

Professor Pavel Kohout

This form of treatment is already ongoing in Czechia – there are over 100 such procedures carried out annually. According to doctors, they are increasing. 

Data on current figures of extreme clostridial infections in Czechia are hard to come by – but a report from 2013 showed that there were over 2,000 instances around 10 years ago. A separate study also found that in the first half of 2012 a total of 50 people died as a result of the infection.

The announcement of Czechia’s first “stool bank” – although not an initially pleasant thought – may well prompt many to try earning money while helping save lives.

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