Nasopharyngeal COVID-19 swab. WHAT COULD GO WRONG.
1. Epistaxis- nasal bleed can either be anterior or posterior - anterior nasal bleeds are mostly related to tiny vessels visible on the nasal septum (Kiesselbach area) - Posterior nasal bleed- most common area- Sphenopalatine artery bleed which usually warrants surgical intervention.
2. Base of skull injury - Secondary to breaching through the roof of the nose with COVID swab. The roof of the nose is the floor of the brain, therefore this can lead to serious complications ie. CSF leak, Pneumocephalus, Meningitis (long term if unattended)
When performing Nasopharyngeal COVID-19 swab - STAY ON THE FLOOR OF THE NOSE. - DO NOT POINT UP - BE GENTLE - POSITION CLIENT PROPERLY- DO NOT ASK CLIENT TO “LOOK UP” - IF YOU FEEL ANY RESISTANCE- DO NOT PUSH FORCEFULLY, TRY THE OTHER NOSTRIL.
Most importantly, be patient, think of all this that can go wrong. Get some training, ask!