Nationwide plasma shortage causes health concerns for one Peoria woman

Local News

A nationwide plasma shortage is causing some health concerns for one central Illinois woman.

Three years ago Jenn smith was diagnosed with CVID, or Common Variable Immune Deficiency. It’s an immune system disorder that makes it extremely difficult for people to fight off sickness or infections.

Smith called her local healthcare provider recently to receive her medicine called IVIG. She became worried when she was told she wouldn’t be able to get the treatment.

The one brand of medicine that I’m on, there was a shortage on that, so they switched me to another brand, and then I got a call yesterday saying there’s no more.”

Jenn Smith | Receives IVIG each month

For the last three years Smith has received Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) every month. This strengthened her immune system and helped her fight off sicknesses and infections. Before receiving IVIG, Smith was extremely sick many times throughout the year.

“I had pneumonia four times in one year, when I get sick, I just get sicker,” Smith said.

Without this treatment.. She says she’s not sure how the next month will pan out.

“They’ve postponed my treatment to August and I don’t know if that will be cancelled too, so without this in my system I have no defenses basically, it’s pretty scary,” Smith said.

Smith says by donating plasma, you can save someone’s life.

“It may not go to me directly, I’ve had a lot of people ask if they can just donate straight to me, but there’s a shortage across the entire country so you’d be helping a lot of people just like me,” Smith said.

If you’d like to learn more about immune deficiencies, you visit the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s website.

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