Coronavirus testing has been conducted throughout the affected countries at large scales since the beginning of the ongoing pandemic. A higher number of testing is mandatory in reducing the transmission rates of the virus by tracing new infections and predicting potential coronavirus hotspots. Testing is among the major steps that is required to end the crisis.
This is why health experts urge people to get tested especially after possible exposure to the virus or when having symptoms of the infection including sore throat, dry coughing, sneezing, fever, and difficulty in breathing. To facilitate people, various testing centers have also been established in different cities in the US.
Additionally, other countries have also adopted a similar policy as experts around the world agree that testing is needed and should be done at an even wider scale than it is being done at the moment. Therefore, there are also plans for increasing the testing further.
A coronavirus test is usually performed by taking swabs from either the throat or the nose. Many people who have had the test have described the procedure as uncomfortable. However, it is short and does not cause any pain. The results are usually received within a day depending on the load on the chosen facility or the lab.
Till now, no complications or damage associated with the conventional testing has been reported but doctors are now agreeing that complications can arise if anything goes wrongwith the process after a case of an eldery woman having the swab in her lungs was reported.
The case, which appears in the British Medical Journal Case Reports, was of a fifty-one year one woman who was originally hospitalized for a brain surgery. After the surgery, she was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit, where she was on mechanical support.
Before her discharge from the hospital, the woman had to undergo coronavirus testing as virus spread in ICUs is common. In order to do this, a swab was required. The woman had also undergone tracheotomy, which is a process in which a tracheostomy tube is inserted into a hole made in the neck for mechanical assistance in breathing.
Instead of the convetional nasal swab, the nurse took a muscosal tube from the inserted catheter. During the process, the swab that was being used suddenly broke.
The woman was then immediately sent for scanning of the lungs to locate the broken swab. Initially, the doctors did not see the swab but knew it was present in the lungs due to an increase in inflammation. Further scanning also showed that the broken swab was also responsible for narrowing in the airways of the lungs.
Eventually, the swab was located in the sub-branch of the bronchi which is also called the “lobar bronchus”. Afterwards, an endoscopy was performed in order to remove the swab from the lungs.
Even though the endoscopy procedure was successful and the woman was discharged soon after, doctors from the hospital state that the case highlights some concerns associated with coronavirus testing. Although the chances of this happening are low, the risk should still be noted.