The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Your condition and treatment

Primary Immunodeficiency

This group of disorders is so called, as there is no secondary factor, such as chemotherapy, to account for the immunodeficiency. Patients with primary immunodeficiencies experience persistent or recurrent, severe and often unusual infections depending upon which part of the immune system is affected. The treatment of these conditions will depend upon the type of disease, and may consist of antibiotics, physiotherapy, immunisations or replacement immunoglobulin therapy.

Antibody deficient patients requiring long-term or lifelong treatment with replacement immunoglobulin can be treated using two different techniques:

Intravenous immunoglobulin

This is given predominantly in the hospital setting every three to four weeks. 

Subcutaneous immunoglobulin

Rapid subcutaneous infusions are available and are offered to all patients. The infusion generally takes between 30 minutes and two hours depending upon the dosage, and is given weekly, usually in the home setting.

Home Therapy

Self-infusion of immunoglobulin at home provides greater convenience and Independence for the patient. It may save time off work or school travelling to and from the hospital, no medical or nursing staff are required for the infusion, leaves outpatient bed space free and gives the patients greater control over their condition.

Allergy

Our immune system is designed to protect against harmful external agents such as infections. However, in allergic individuals the immune system becomes sensitized to harmless substances such as pollens and food and can produce an inappropriate response when exposed. This can be broadly divided into:

  • Substances that we eat (Food Allergy)
  • Substances that we breathe (Inhalant Allergy)
  • Medications (Drug Allergy)
  • Insect Stings (Venom Allergy)

Information regarding the common causes, symptoms and management of common allergies is available on the AllergyUK website.