Does It Really Matter Which Swab Or Transport Media Is Used To Collect Patient Samples For COVID Testing?

Does It Really Matter Which Swab Or Transport Media Is Used To Collect Patient Samples For COVID Testing?

I was swabbed for Coronavirus on March 14th, 2020 by a poorly trained lab tech at a Baltimore hospital.

To be fair, it was very early on in the pandemic and understandable that most people would not know how to use a nasal swab for sample collection correctly.

The nasal swab had an inflexible shaft and was inserted into each nasal cavity as far up as possible and then painfully rotated a half dozen times with too much force.

Blood dripped from each nostril for close to three days.

I should have filed a police report for assault with a deadly weapon.

Anyone who sells lab supplies for COVID testing remembers how the demand for nasal swabs and viral transport media overwhelmed manufacturers and opened the floodgates for foreign companies to rush to the rescue.

Some imported nasal swabs were pretty good.

We owe these companies a debt of gratitude as they filled a void while manufacturers with a long history making swabs and transport media expanded their output and started catching up.

But there were some opportunity seekers who took advantage of a desperate situation and offered substandard products.

Many thousands of patient samples were lost or contaminated due to leakage from subpar transport tubes.

Viral transport media needs to be stored in a 95 kPa rated transport tube to withstand all conditions including a depressurized aircraft and not in a cheap conical tube.

Poor quality collection swabs and unreliable transport tubes might not have been a public health hazard like phony N95 and KN95 masks, but they did impact the quality of COVID testing.

One company has over forty years of experience producing high quality nasal collection swabs and viral transport media: Copan.

Copan FLOQswabs® feature a flexible shaft with convenient break points and flocked nylon heads that grab and hold onto patient samples.

Because comfort and sample integrity are important, Copan offers nasal, nasopharyngeal and mid-turbinate swabs in different sizes, including pediatric sizes, for delicate collection work.

Copan UTM® Universal Transport Media is an FDA cleared medical device for safe storage and transport of samples following collection.

FDA cleared is vastly different than FDA approved or EUA approved which was authorized to allow more product into the marketplace at a time of great need.

Copan's UTM® Universal Transport Media has been thoroughly vetted.

Copan's UTM Universal Transport Media is packaged correctly to hold up to all methods of transportation, even aircraft.

Good testing results start with good patient samples.

When it comes to experience, quality and thoughtful design, Copans nasal swabs and UTM from Stellar Scientific offer peace of mind and exceptional results.