Coronavirus swab snapped off inside a woman’s lung

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.

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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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.

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