A WOMAN suffering from a rare disorder is worried she will run out of vital food and drink, after supply problems delayed the delivery of the nutrients that help keep her alive.

Carrie Beckwith-Fellows, from Wark, has Ehlers-danlos syndrome, which affects her connective tissues, and she relies on bags of nutrients on a daily basis.

However, a recent inspection of liquid foods provider Calea, by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, found problems with the manufacturing process for the total parenteral nutrition (TPN) bags which Carrie relies on, because they did not meet the required guidelines. This led to a reduction in output while Calea considered longer term changes to their processes.

TPN, also known as parenteral nutrition (PN) is a form of nutritional support given via the bloodstream, with an IV pump.

Carrie, who last year raised £100,000 for surgery to fuse her spine, said: “I receive my food and drink this way because my digestive system has failed and cannot absorb fluid or nutrients if I eat or drink. TPN keeps me alive. Without it I would die.

“Last week, I had been left short of PN bags. We get 14 days supply of PN bags at a time. Last week they told us they would send seven, but they sent six.

“I’ve had no lipids (bags of essential fat that provides energy and essential protein) and we were relying on emergency bags of fluid for longer than we should. My current supply runs out next week so we have no idea if I will get more.”

“Lisa, my wife, was specially trained by expert nurses to manage my PN and connect me every day. We know that every time she connects my PN, there is a chance it could end my life. The past few days I was exhausted – heart pounding, shaking and my arms and legs burning.”

A spokesman for Calea said: “Following a routine MHRA inspection, we have been directed to change the process by which we add trace elements and vitamins to our parenteral nutrition bags, in order to align with latest standard industry practice.

“As a result the time taken to produce bags has increased and although we are working as quickly and safely as possible to meet demand. We are sorry that our deliveries have been delayed.”