Why make it difficult, if it can be easy. (Linkedin and Twitter 20-6-2018)

How to take a stool sample without any mess and contamination?

All over the world the colorectal cancer screening is very successful in preventing much harm, suffering and not in the least death. The first step in this process is to take a stool sample. That looks like a simple job, but it is not. In many countries the screening organisations give suggestions on how to take a stool sample. Let me give you some examples:

  1. Put a lot of toilet paper in the bowl to keep the stool dry. That means a whole lot of paper and hopefully the toilet does not clog after flushing!
  2. Put a plastic bag or plastic foil on the toilet seat. That will do the job! Unless you have to pee. But how do you get rid of the used dirty plastic? Say high to your mother in law on your way to the garbage bin.
  3. My favourite: put a plastic bag over your hand and catch the stool… Ok, let’s say we did that. Please imagine how this will end when you forgot to unscrew the sample tube. And when you foresaw the problem and did unscrew it, how do you put the stick back in the tube?
  4. Put a plastic cup in the toilet bowl. Well that works well when you can throw it away afterwards. What’s that in the news about all the plastic waste? Ok than, you can clean it and reuse it for your lunch for tomorrow. Delicious.

These tips are given to people from 55 to 75 years old. It is a shame! I am from the Netherlands and this is the case over here, but it is the same in many other countries.

Let’s end this unnecessary, clumsy and messy ways of taking a stool sample. Especially when there is an aid that can make the job really easy: the fecescatcher.

The fecescatcher is a paper strip that can be attached to the toilet seat. After you have taken the sample it can be dropped in the toilet bowl and flushed. The paper is biodegradable and will not clog your toilet.

We are of course running a business and we need to make a profit, but when used in a bowel cancer screening programme we can keep the costs very low. A few cents per fecescatcher can make the difference.

It is our drive to make it ease for everybody to take a stool sample. The easier we make it, the more people will do the test and we can prevent much harm, suffering and not in the least death.

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