While the self-tests are to be made available for sale from April 12 in pharmacies, the National Academy of Medicine says that nasopharyngeal swabs are not without risk. In a press release published on Thursday, the Academy stresses that these samples, carried out during PCR or antigen tests to detect the presence of Covid-19 can cause “graves complications“.
She recalls that certain complications, pain or bleeding “can be considered benign“, but she notes that”serious complications have started to be described in the medical literature for a few weeks“. The Academy mentions in particular”breaches of the anterior level of the base of the skull associated with a risk of meningitis“.
The institution warns that sometimes the samples are taken “in unsuitable conditions“. She therefore calls for”respect good practices“. Before any collection, it is necessary to”inquire about any accidental or surgical history in the ENT sphere“who may have modified”the anatomy of the nasal and sinus cavities“. The Academy of Medicine specifies that the patient’s head should not be”in hyper extension during sampling“.
Finally, she recommends that nasopharyngeal swabs be performed by “health professionals trained to carry out this gesture“. For children, she recommends saliva samples. While the self-tests will soon be available to the general public, the Academy warns:”self-sampling which may expose to false negatives when swabbing is too timid and superficial“. But these self-tests can also”become dangerous when the swab is too deep and pointed in the wrong direction“.