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Eight-year-old Megan Steadman’s immune system is like that of a newborn and needs a special treatment derived from blood plasma to strengthen it.

Production of immunoglobulins was banned in the UK in the 90s over fears about the potential spread of the human version of “Mad cow disease”.

It has since been imported, but is now in short supply and there are calls by patient groups to overturn the ban.

The UK government said it was working to address the supply issue.

Large amounts of plasma are needed to make the treatment, which is used to treat people whose immune systems have failed.

Megan is one of only 5,000 people in the UK with a rare condition called primary immune deficiency.

She had a stem cell transplant last year, which her family hope will cure her condition, but for now her life depends on regular infusions of immunoglobulins.

Her mother Victoria Stoneman, from Aberbargoed, Caerphilly county, said without the treatment Megan may not be able to fight infections.

“This is to strengthen her new immune system, she’s like a newborn baby at the moment, she’s not ready to be immunised yet.

“So the immunoglobulin treatment keeps her strong and healthy and able to fight infection.”

Megan added: “It makes me feel better.”

Ms Stoneman said she first noticed Megan’s symptoms when she was two months old.

“[She had] high temperatures that we couldn’t bring down and lots of hospitalisation with severe ear infections. She often displayed symptoms of infection without infection.

“She was diagnosed when she was 18 months and was put on immunoglobulin at two and a half.”

Immunoglobulins are extracted from plasma by a process called fractionation and it takes thousands of units of plasma, donated by a large group of people, to produce a single bottle.

The process was banned in the UK in the late 1990s in the wake of the Mad cow disease – or BSE – crisis. Read more

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