What We're Reading: Deaths From Stool Transplants; Binge Drinking Goes Unaddressed; Bill Passed on Food Aid for Seniors

March 13, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

Two individuals died after recieveing stool transplants; a CDC report highlights a lack of action on binge drinking; Congress has approved a food aid measure for seniors.

OpenBiome Stool Transplants Lead to 2 Deaths

Four individuals were hospitalized and 2 died after receiving stool transplants from OpenBiome, STAT News reports. Eight patients may have been affected by the treatment, which was marketed as potentially lifesaving for individuals with recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections. Around 12,800 Americans die from the infections each year. In the 6 living patients affected, OpenBiome was able to identify the bacteria that caused the complications, but neither the FDA nor the company is definitively saying stool transplants caused the deaths.

CDC Report Highlights Lack of Action on Binge Drinking

A survey released by the CDC found that although more than 75% of patients were asked about alcohol habits at checkups, less than half of the respondents were asked about binge drinking. Researchers note screening alone is not effective at reducing binge drinking, which is defined as 5 or more drinks on 1 occasion for men and 4 or more drinks for women. The practice can lead to complications like fetal alcohol syndrome and breast cancer. The survey also found that of respondents who fit the criteria, most weren’t offered any help.

Congress Approves Food Aid Measure for Seniors

A bipartisan bill was passed that advocates increasing money for nutrition programs to reduce the number of older Americans that go hungry, Kaiser Health News reports. However, the article notes the measure will not be sufficient to address the nation’s fast-growing senior population. Specifically, the measure calls for a 7% increase in funding for nutrition programs and other services over the first year and an additional 6% increase in each of the following 4 years. The measure will only take affect after Congressional appropriations committees decide on funding levels.