Immunoglobulin Resources – for patients and health professionals

Overview

A number of resources are available to help health professionals and patients understand and manage immunoglobulin (Ig) treatment arrangements. These include factsheets, videos, professional courses and more.

Links to key resources are available on this page. Information is arranged by primary audience - patients (and their carers) or healthcare professionals.

For a broad overview of immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin (Ig) product, its uses, and the National Blood Authority’s (NBA) role in managing it to ensure it is available in Australia safely, equitably and affordably, please also see Immunoglobulin.

For patients - Immunoglobulins and immunoglobulin treatment information explained

The following resources are designed to support patients and their carers through every stage of their immunoglobulin treatment journey. They provide clear information about treatment options and what to expect, assisting patients to work out how to best manage their condition in partnership with their doctor and other healthcare professionals. 

External website: Value in Prescribing Program: Immunoglobulin Products

This website houses an evolving suite of resources for consumers of immunoglobulin products, including webpages, factsheets and patient videos.

Developed by a consortium of experts, the NPS MedicineWise Value in Prescribing Program: Immunoglobulin Products has produced a number of resources in partnership with the NBA. Topics covered include:

  • immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin products and treatment 
  • treatment review requirements, switching products, side effects, managing treatment when travelling 
  • how immunoglobulin is managed and regulated in Australia to ensure it is safe and available to those who need it most (immunoglobulin governance). Includes eligibility, consent and privacy.

 

NBA Factsheet: Patient Information – Immunoglobulin Treatment
PDF (532.16 KB) Word (567.33 KB).  

This factsheet explains what immunoglobulin treatment is, including why and how it is used, treatment choices, possible side-effects and product safety. 

Notes: This document is designed to be printed as a trifold pamphlet. It is currently under review. However, key information, including about use and side-effects, remains valid.

 

NBA Factsheet: Patient Information: Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment
PDF (636.33 KB) Word (2.62 MB).

This factsheet explains what SCIg treatment is, why it is used, how it is administered, possible side-effects, storage and patient review.

SCIg patients should also see: Patient Receipt and Use Diary

Notes: This document is designed to be printed as a trifold pamphlet. It is currently under review. However, key information, including about use, transport and storage, and side-effects remains valid.

 

SCIg Patient Receipt and Use Diary
PDF (36.33 KB) Excel (12.15 KB).

Patients self-administering subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) are advised to record their treatment details. This includes treatment date, time, Ig batch number, as well as any issues experienced or wastage. The treatment diary can then be shared and discussed with the treating doctor or support nurse regularly.

 

NBA webpage: BloodSTAR Privacy Controls

Immunoglobulin product is a very expensive to produce and in high demand. To ensure a fair, safe, secure and affordable supply to those who need it most, strict rules and arrangements govern who can access it. These rules and arrangements must be followed by everyone involved in the prescription, ordering, dispensing, supply and management of immunoglobulin product. (Overview and more information: Immunoglobulin)

To help ensure that healthcare providers can meet their obligations, patients’ information is collected in a centralised (national) online system called BloodSTAR (Blood System for Tracking Authorisations and Reviews). Patients must consent to their information being recorded in BloodSTAR. Privacy is carefully managed in line with the Privacy Act.

This webpage provides information on how privacy is managed within BloodSTAR.

For healthcare professionals: information on immunoglobulins, Ig product, access and management

Immunoglobulin product is available in Australia at no direct cost to eligible patients under the national blood arrangements, managed by the NBA. As immunoglobulin product is expensive to produce and in high-demand, strict rules and careful management is needed to ensure a fair, safe, secure and affordable supply for those who need it most, across the whole of Australia. These immunoglobulin governance arrangements, which are agreed and continually reviewed by experts from every state and territory under the NBA’s National Immunoglobulin Governance Program, must be adhered to by everyone involved in the prescription, ordering, dispensing, supply and management of immunoglobulin product. 

The following resources, designed primarily for health professionals, provide introductory information about immunoglobulins and immunoglobulin product, and provide information about immunoglobulin product access and governance arrangements in Australia. They also provide information on product storage, adverse events and more.

 

Professional courses 

 BloodSafe eLearning Australia receives joint national funding from the NBA, on behalf of all Australian Governments, to produce a range of courses on blood management-related issues. Access is free for all users. 

The following immunoglobulin-related courses are available. They are targeted towards healthcare staff involved in the use of intravenous and subcutaneous Ig products, including prescription, ordering, administration and patient follow-up.

  • Immunoglobulin – Essentials. This introductory course outlines the role of immunoglobulins in the body, and describes how Ig product is used to treat different conditions, the different types of Ig product available in Australia, and how Ig product is manufactured, including its safety profile.  
  • Immunoglobulin – Governance and Access. Strong governance arrangements in Australia, managed by the NBA, ensure that Ig product is available to those who will benefit from it most, in a fair and transparent way. This course explains the rules and defines the roles and responsibilities of all healthcare professionals involved in the prescription, ordering and management of intravenous and subcutaneous immunoglobulin products.
  • Immunoglobulin: Administration. This course covers the safe administration of immunoglobulin products including product safety and transport; patient preparation for an IVIg infusion, identification of patients eligible for SCIg; and the benefits and safe monitoring of patients receiving immunoglobulin therapy
  • Immunoglobulin: Adverse events. This course covers patient and product specifics that lead to an adverse event; steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of an adverse event; and how to recognise, respond and report an adverse event as a result of immunoglobulin therapy.

 Note: These courses are located on an external website. The links will take you to the BloodSafe eLearning sign-in page. Users must register to sign in; registration is free and open to all. The sign-in page is also available through NBA’s BloodPortal.

 

NBA webpage: BloodSTAR Support Materials

Immunoglobulin product is expensive to produce and in high demand. To ensure a fair, safe, secure and affordable supply to those who need it most, strict rules and arrangements govern who can access it. These rules and arrangements must be followed by everyone involved in the prescription, ordering, dispensing, supply and management of immunoglobulin product. (Overview and more information: Immunoglobulin)

To help ensure that healthcare providers can meet their immunoglobulin governance obligations, patients’ information is collected in a centralised (national) online system called BloodSTAR (Blood System for Tracking Authorisations and Reviews).

This webpage provides information about how to register for BloodSTAR as a medical officer, medical administrator, dispenser or facility administrator.

External webpage: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

A number of immunoglobulin-related resources are available on the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website, including the resources listed below:

Links to other resources 

A number of resources hosted on external organisations’ pages may be useful to patients or healthcare professionals. 
Unless specified, this information is not specifically endorsed by the NBA. Appropriate checks and permissions should be sought when using or sharing any of these resources. 

Blood Matters Program

The Blood Matters Program is a Victorian State Government program run in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (formerly Blood Service). It includes a number of immunoglobulin-related resources. See:

Primary audience: Healthcare professionals

Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

The ASCIA has a wealth of information about immunodeficiencies and their treatment. See:

Primary audience: Patients and carers

Queensland Government, Gold Coast health

Primary audience: Patients and carers