Complications of COVID-19 Nasopharyngeal Swab Test

During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous swab samples have been taken for SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Nasopharyngeal sampling is considered safe, despite adjacent vital structures (eg, orbit, skull base, rich vasculature). However, single case reports and clinical observations indicate the possibility of severe complications. This case series by Koskinen, et al. (2021) investigates the frequency and type of SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal test complications in Helsinki, Finland.

All patients presenting to the dedicated otorhinolaryngology emergency department (ED) of Helsinki University Hospital Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery between March 1 and September 30, 2020, were retrospectively screened for complications after SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab sampling. Those experiencing sampling complications underwent medical record review.

The number of SARS-CoV-2 tests performed in the catchment population (1.6 million people) of the Helsinki University Hospital during the same time period was obtained from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

During the seven-month study period, 643,284 SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests were performed. Eight complication-related visits (seven females, one male; age range, 14.0-78.6 years; mean [SD] age, 39.5 [20.9] years) were identified in 2899 otorhinolaryngology ED patients — four nasal bleeds and four broken swabs, all occurring immediately after sampling (Table). None of these eight patients tested positive for COVID-19.

The frequency of complications requiring treatment in the ED was 1.24 per 100,000 performed SARS-CoV-2 tests. The broken swabs were removed via nasal endoscopy under local anesthesia, whereas the nasal bleeds required medication, numerous nasal packings, and surgical and endovascular procedures and led to fetal risk, sepsis, and blood transfusions. Half of the bleeds were potentially life threatening (hemoglobin level fell below 6.5 g/dL [to convert to g/L, multiply by 10.0]). Massive bleeding complicated localization of the bleeds. Infections, as well as intranasal adhesions and septal perforations, likely resulted from the repetitive nasal packings.

Reference: Koskinen A, et al. Complications of COVID-19 Nasopharyngeal Swab Test. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online April 29, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.0715

15 Comments on "Complications of COVID-19 Nasopharyngeal Swab Test"

  1. Thank you for an additional wonderful article. Where else could anyone get that type of info in this kind of a ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and Im to the look for these data.

  2. Hello there, I?ve read a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting :-). I surprise how much attempt you place to create any such magnificent informative web site, Nice JOB!.

  3. Gracias por compartir su maestría en esta área. Hay mucho Info inútil en esto que flota alrededor y aprecio su trabajo duro.

  4. Asked if she ever thought it might have been more than just a passing relationship, Stevenson noted, I think any time that you get involved with anyone in a relationship, if youre a woman who has passion and a heart, and you understand love, and you have innocence and youre a little naive, I think that you would believe in the Cinderella story.

  5. Hey cool weblog, just questioning what anti-spam software you utilize for feedback as a result of i get lots on my blog. Anyway, in my language, there are not a lot good source like this.

  6. blessing Pris delphinium every Rajesh grape roughriders budlow circuitous

  7. Currently its appropriate timing to produce a few plans for the long run and it is the moment to enjoy. Ive learn this post and if I may I desire to counsel you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could publish next material regarding this post. I hope to learn even more issues related to it!

  8. This is a good posting, I was wondering if I could use this write-up on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away

  9. I had this post saved some time before but my PC crashed. I have since gotten a new one and it took me a while to come across this! I also in fact like the theme though.

  10. I was browsing over the internet for some information since yesterday night and I finally found this! This is a terrific web site by the way, but it seems to be a little difficult to see on my smart phone.

  11. Hello I think your blog is very good i found it on google I think will come back again

  12. Currently its appropriate timing to produce a few plans for the long run and it is the moment to enjoy. Ive learn this post and if I may I desire to counsel you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could publish next material regarding this post. I hope to learn even more issues related to it!

  13. Hello, i learn your blog occasionally and i own an identical one and i used to be just wondering in case you get loads of spam feedback? In that case how do you forestall it, any plugin or anything you may recommend? Im getting so much recently it is driving me mad so any help is very a lot appreciated. Anyway, in my language, there usually are not a lot good source like this.

  14. Hello there, I?ve read a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting :-). I surprise how much attempt you place to create any such magnificent informative web site, Nice JOB!.

  15. 992106 334768You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for that difficulty and discovered a lot of people is going together with with the internet web site. 494235

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*