In the United States, medical experts who conducted a nasal swab test on a woman accidentally punctured the patient's brain lining, causing fluid to leak out of her nose and risking her life to a potentially fatal infection.
The woman who is in her 40s was suffering from a rare undiagnosed condition, and some people believe the swab test performed on her was done incorrectly, which all contributed to putting her life at risk.
Dangerous coronavirus swab test?
According to News18, the incident showed that medical experts are required to conduct utmost care with tests and follow strict protocols, said senior author Jarrett Walsh, whose paper appeared in JAMA Otolaryngology.
The medical expert added that individuals who have had extensive sinus or skull-based surgery should request oral testing for the coronavirus if at all possible to prevent the risk of a similar incident.
Dennis Kraus, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Lenox Hill Hospital, emphasized that the horrific incident underscores the need for medical professionals who perform tests for adequate training and the dire need that patients and professionals alike remain vigilant after the tests.
Walsh said that the woman had gone to the hospital to get a nasal test before moving forward with an elective hernia surgery. After the examination, however, the victim noticed clear fluid coming out of her nose.
Immediately after seeing the fluid, the woman experienced headaches, vomiting, stiff neck, and aversion to light. She was quickly transferred to Walsh to be cared for and treated.
Walsh noted that the patient was previously swabbed on the same side for another procedure but suffered no consequences at all. He added that the woman said the second swab test felt like it was not implementing the best technique and that the professional entered a bit high.
It was revealed that the patient was previously treated several years ago for intracranial hypertension. The condition had pressure from her cerebrospinal fluid was found to be far higher than standard levels.
Medical experts tested the fluid that was running out of the woman's nose and discovered that it was a protein found in cerebrospinal fluid which is commonly located in the brain or the spine, as reported by The Sun.
Scans on the patient revealed she had a 1.8cm encephalocele, which is a type of protrusion from the brain, which extended up to her nasal cavity.
Professionals compared her results with images from a CT scan that the patient had in 2017. They found out that it had been there since but was left undiagnosed and untreated.
Medical experts immediately sent the patient for surgery to repair her encephalocele and to monitor her neurological condition post-op.
Doctors who were in charge of the woman said that her case is the first known report of cerebrospinal fluid leak linked to a nasal swab test for the coronavirus. They also stated that because of her underlying condition, the swab test most likely did not have an effect on her bony skull base.
However, medical experts believe that the COVID-19 swab test caused trauma to her pre-existing encephalocele, resulting in brain fluid leaking out of her nose.