Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Complications Associated With Nasopharyngeal COVID-19 Testing: An Analysis of the MAUDE Database and Literature Review.

Abstract

Background

Nasopharyngeal swab testing, which has greatly increased in utilization due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is generally safe and well-tolerated, although it may be rarely associated with adverse events.

Methods

Publicly reported adverse events associated with nasopharyngeal COVID-19 testing within the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database and the published literature were queried.

Results

A total of 129 adverse events were reported, including 66 from the MAUDE database and 63 from literature review. The most common complications were swab fracture resulting in retained foreign body (47%), followed by epistaxis (17%), and headache (11%). Seven (12%) of the reported retained foreign body cases required removal under general anesthesia, while 1 (5%) of the epistaxis cases required surgical intervention. The most serious adverse event was meningitis following cerebrospinal fluid leak.

Conclusions

Patients and healthcare providers should be aware of the potential risks associated with testing, with attention to ensuring proper technique, and be prepared to recognize and manage adverse events.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View