Avoid COVID test injury – ONPACE

Health Watch

OMAHA, Neb. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The CDC says those who have been fully vaccinated do not have to wear their masks. But more than one in three unvaccinated adults say they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine, putting reaching herd immunity at risk. That’s why proper testing is still crucial.

For the past year, this has been a familiar sight.

“People come out saying that they felt like their brain was impaled,” shared Christie Barnes, MD, an ear, nose & throat doctor at University of Nebraska Medical Center.

But even after a year of testing for COVID …

“I’m still seeing it done incorrectly on the news,” Dr. Barnes continued.

And now that several rapid at-home COVID tests are available to consumers, is there a danger to performing the test incorrectly?

“It could result in nose bleeds, injury to the nose and the nasal cavity,” explained Dr. Barnes.

That’s why a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has created an advanced simulation model that can be used to teach the proper skills to those performing the swab tests. It’s called ONPACE, the Oral Nasal Pharyngeal Anatomy Clinical Education trainer.

“We decided that it would be fun if we could do something that was more like the old Operations game,” stated Ben Stobbe, RN, MBA, Assistant Vice Chancellor of iEXCEL at University of Nebraska Medical Center.

A light comes on when the student performs the test correctly. So, what should you know when performing a COVID test?

Do not direct the swab upward. The swab needs to go about seven centimeters in your average adult. Also, stay still to avoid injury. Rest your head against a wall or chair. And don’t apply pressure.

With proper testing and vaccines, the most vulnerable populations can be protected.

“We try to do this so no one has to do any quarantine at all,” said Steve Frazee, Chief Program Officer at Open Door Mission.

About seventy percent of the population is born with a deviated septum, which makes it difficult to get to the area of the nose to get a proper swab sample. If resistance is felt early on, perform the test using the other nostril. The ONPACE simulation can also be used for other respiratory illnesses such as strep and the flu.

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