Immunoglobulin Resources – for patients and health professionals

Overview

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

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.

Introduction to Immunoglobulin (Ig) and Ig treatment

The following resources provide an introduction to immunoglobulins and immunoglobulin (Ig) treatment in Australia. The target audience (patients and their carers, or healthcare professionals) is clearly identified next to each resource.

Thumbnail of Introduction to Immunoglobulin (Ig) and Ig treatment flyerFactsheet: Choosing Wisely – Immunoglobulin Products

What’s it about? Immunoglobulin treatment – what is it, why is your doctor recommending it, possible side-effects, questions you may wish to ask.

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.



Note: This factsheet is located on an external website. The link will take you to a page containing a number  of immunoglobulin-related resources, including the one listed.  

 

Thumbnail image of Immunoglobulin – Essentials flyer

Professional course: Immunoglobulin – Essentials

 What’s it about? This is an introductory course that outlines the role of immunoglobulins in the body, 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. 

 Primary audience: Healthcare staff involved in the use of intravenous and subcutaneous Ig products, including prescription, ordering, administration and patient follow-up.

Note: This course is located on an external website. The link will take you to a sign-in page containing a number of immunoglobulin-related courses, including the one listed. Users must register to sign in. Registration is free and open to all. The sign-in page is also available through NBA’s BloodPortal.

 

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

What’s it about? Immunoglobulin treatment – what is it, why and how it is used, treatment choices, possible side-effects and product safety. Provides some additional information to that provided in the Choosing Wisely factsheet.

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

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.

 

 

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

What’s it about? SCIg treatment – 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
 
Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

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.

Immunoglobulin access and management

Eligibility, consent, privacy, treatment review, changing product and more  

As with other blood products, 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 very 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. The rules and arrangements, which must be adhered to by everyone involved in the prescription, ordering, dispensing, supply and management of immunoglobulin product, are agreed and continually reviewed by experts from every state and territory under the National Immunoglobulin Governance Program, managed by the NBA. (Overview and more information: Immunoglobulin)

These governance arrangements also require that patients’ information is collected in a centralised (national) system called BloodSTAR (Blood System for Tracking Authorisations and Reviews). Set up in 2016 by the NBA, BloodSTAR supports health providers to meet their immunoglobulin governance obligations.

Patients must provide consent for their details to be recorded in BloodSTAR. Privacy is carefully managed in line with the Privacy Act. 

The following resources provide an overview of immunoglobulin product access arrangements in Australia.

Factsheet: Immunoglobulin Products in Australia - Information about Access and Consent

What’s it about? There are strict rules about immunoglobulin prescription and use. This factsheet outlines the rules and explains why they are needed. It includes information about Ig eligibility criteria, the BloodSTAR management system, patient consent and treatment review requirements.

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

Note: This factsheet is located on an external website. The link will take you to a page containing a number of immunoglobulin-related resources, including the one listed.

 

Professional course: Immunoglobulin – Governance and Access

What’s it about? Immunoglobulin treatment offers significant therapeutic benefit to a substantial number of people. However, it is expensive, supply is finite, and it is not always the most efficacious treatment option. Strong governance arrangements in Australia (managed by the NBA) ensure that the 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.

Primary audience: Healthcare staff involved in the use of intravenous and subcutaneous Ig products, including prescription, authorisation, storage, ordering and administration of treatment. 

Note: This course is located on an external website. The link will take you to a sign-in page containing a number of immunoglobulin-related courses, including the one listed. Users must register to sign in. Registration is free and open to all. The sign-in page is also available through NBA’s BloodPortal.

 

Factsheet: Switching Immunoglobulin Products - What should I know? What can I do?

What’s it about? Patients will sometimes be asked to change from one type of immunoglobulin product to another. This factsheet provides information about why this can happen, and how it will be managed.

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

Note: This factsheet is located on an external website. The link will take you to a page containing a number of immunoglobulin-related resources, including the one listed.

Patient receipt and use diary 

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

What’s it about? Patients self-administering subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) will be asked 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.

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

 

Other resource: NBA webpage BloodSTAR Privacy Controls

What’s it about? How privacy is managed within BloodSTAR

Primary audience: Patients and their carers.

 

Other resource: NBA webpage BloodSTAR Support Materials

What’s it about? How to register for BloodSTAR as a medical officer, medical administrator, dispenser or facility administrator.

Primary audience: Healthcare professionals.

 

Other resource: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

What can I find here? A number of immunoglobulin-related resources are available on the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website, including the resources listed below: