Coronavirus swab snapped off inside a woman’s lung

Coronavirus swab snapped off

THE 51-year-old patient of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust had recently had skull surgery. The coronavirus swab, which was inserted through a breathing tube in her neck, snapped off and lodged in the woman’s lung lung.

Due to a Covid scare shortly after the woman’s surgery, she was tested for coronavirus by having a swab placed in the hole in her neck; following her surgery the woman had had a tracheotomy. The swab – designed to snap when put in a test tube – instead got lodged in her lung. Though unable to see it on CT scans or X-rays, doctors noticed an unusual swelling in the woman’s right lung. After placing a camera in her lung doctors located the snapped swab in her airway and removed it.

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Doctors working with the unnamed patient said that this incident should serve as a warning to others in the medical profession.

“This case highlights the need for clear guidance on how samples for SARS-CoV-2 are taken from patients with front of neck airways and the potential pitfalls involved,” lead Dr Mohammed Hussain said.


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