This COVID-19 test went down the wrong tube

The swab accidentally snapped off mid-procedure

It seems the SARS-CoV-2 swab has graduated from brain-tickler to lung-tickler, according to a recent case from the UK.


A nurse was performing the test on a 51-year-old woman who had undergone brain surgery before her transfer to a nursing home.

The patient had a tracheostomy in place, and a mucosal swab was attempted through the tube.

However, during the process, the nurse felt the stylet snap — a design feature intended to allow the distal end to be sent off in a vial — with the swab falling