When conducting diagnostic swab testing for COVID-19, CDC recommends nasopharyngeal swabbing. Regardless if the patient is symptomatic, specimens should be collected as soon as possible with testing swabs once PUIs are identified.
If you’ve conducted flu tests, swabbing for COVID-19 testing is the same process.
Puritan’s 7 Steps for Taking a Nasopharyngeal Swab Specimen
Learn the benefits of using Calcium Alginate Tipped Swabs for specimen collection, testing, screening, and more.
Calcium alginate swabs are ideal for use in diverse medical applications. In general, calcium alginate tipped applicators are manufactured using organic fiber. The natural fiber is derived from beneficial sources like seaweed.
Therefore, the swabs are safe for use and free from latex, which can cause allergic reactions among patients with hypersensitivity.
These products are suited for universal use in medical practices. Calcium alginate is also a biodegradable material.
This property is beneficial because there will be no foreign materials left on a patient after use for a prolonged period.
The fibers will be dissolved within a short period through contact with tissues and body fluids.
Therefore, there is no risk of an adverse reaction resulting from the accumulation of foreign matter.
The calcium alginate swabs can be bonded to wood, plastic and metal shafts for easy use.
Understanding the Potential Uses
The calcium alginate swabs are suitable for collecting samples for clinical purposes. The shape of the applicator and tip makes the applicator an ideal choice for handling cell collection in difficult areas.
These swabs can be used for culture collection from the eyes, ears and nasopharynx.
The alginate applicators are also valuable in ENT pediatrics and even veterinary medicine.
Calcium alginate tipped applicators are ideal for use in STD screening.
Unlike other swabs, these products do not contain fatty acids.
Keep this in mind, because they are suitable for isolating cultures of disease causing microorganisms which are denatured easily.
For instance, some gonorrhea strains are inhibited by fatty acids. Also, the flexible and slim design of the applicator is suitable for urethra-genital application,
It is also important to note that wounds tend to attract residues from swabs. Alginate applicators are suitable because the residue fibers will be degraded naturally.
The alginate swabs are advantageous for use in wound care.
Note: The medical-grade products are perfect for cleaning sites of injury because the tip material is organic and safe.
Choosing The Right Calcium Alginate Swab
If you are interested in acquiring calcium alginate swabs for your medical practice, you will need to choose the most suitable products for your specific uses.
The right swabs will ensure convenience, affordability and safety for your workplace.
Here are essential considerations for swab selection.
When choosing your applicator, you should compare the benefits of different shaft materials for your specific uses.
Usually, you can choose aluminum, wood or plastic shafts. Aluminum shafts are favorable for urethra-genital applications because they are flexible.
Wood shafts are firm and suited for wound care and sample collection. Plastic shafts are semi-flexible and are ideal for wound care.
You should compare the sizes of the different alginate swabs on the market before choosing the most suitable for your needs.
The critical measurements that you should evaluate are the tip sizes and the applicator length. There is no perfect size for all uses.
And, larger swabs are ideal for wound care, but they are unsuitable for use in pediatric care. If you need applicators for this purpose, you must look for miniature tips.
Sterile or Non-Sterile
Medical-grade calcium alginate swabs are available in sterile and non-sterile packages. The best products are dependent on the potential use.
Sterile swabs are wrapped individually to prevent contamination from external sources.
These are naturally more favorable for medical uses. Non-sterile options are available in simple boxes.
Puritan Calcium Alginate Swabs
Puritan calcium alginate tipped applicators are exceptional products which are manufactured using organic and natural fiber derived from seaweed.
The swabs are available in a range of tip sizes and shaft lengths for different uses. These swabs are FDA compliant, CE-marked and ISO-approved for medical applications.
How Choosing the Right Materials Can Prevent DNA Specimen Degradation
Whether for genetic testing or another application, preserving DNA integrity through all steps of the handling process is essential to avoiding potential errors, which can be costly and time-intensive to correct. The most effective way to proactively avoid DNA specimen degradation is selecting the right tools for your needs.
There are a few types of media transport systems available, but before you can determine the best option for your needs, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:
Are you going to prepare the DNA for examination immediately after collecting it?
Will the specimen be stored for use in the future, and if so, for how long?
Do you expect to ship the DNA specimen to an offsite processing lab? If so, what is the anticipated time frame between collection and examination?
Most importantly, the main objective is to minimize the amount of degradation that your DNA specimen undergoes. The more time between collection and processing that passes, the more measures you’ll need to put in place to preserve the sample. Additionally, moisture is another degrading factor, so preventing increased moisture levels is essential.
Bearing these factors in mind, here are some products you should consider n your DNA transport system:
Swabs are the first tool used in the specimen collection process, and they play an important role in maintaining the integrity of your samples. As such, it’s important to select the right type of swab to keep DNA protected. It’s best to select a sterile dry swab, because again, keeping moisture at bay is important for safeguarding your samples.
If you’re transporting the specimen and don’t plan to use a preservative solution, it’s ideal to allow the swab to air-dry before preparing it for shipment. As long as the environment is kept at a suitable temperature and humidity level, 30 minutes of drying time should suffice.
Depending on your application, you may also wish to consider a cap to prevent DNA contamination. Puritan offers many swabs with the the cap built in. These swabs are called Cap-Shure® and feature an aerated tip protector over the swab tip to help the drying process and protect the specimen.
Dry Transport Tubes
Another option for keeping your swabs protected against cross-contamination is using plastic transport tubes. The swab attaches to a cap and is inserted into a tube, much like a test-tube. A label affixed to the outside of the tube allows for data to be written about the specimen collected. Dry Transport Swabs include their own transport tubes for safe travel and are available with different tip materials such as calcium alginate, cotton, flocked, foam, polyester, and rayon.
Whichever option you select, Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies has all of the right products to help you handle and transport DNA specimens as efficiently as possible. You can view their vast array of options online now, or get in touch with a product specialist for more information.
A Complete Guide to Specimen Collection for Diagnostics
Following the right specimen collection procedures is critical. Not only does it protect healthcare professionals, laboratory staff, and the patient, it also ensures accuracy in diagnostic testing. For infectious diseases, it’s important to get specimen collection right on the first try. That’s why having the proper tools is essential.
When it comes to the swabs and vials used for collecting specimens for diagnostic testing, you have a lot of options. While traditional cotton tips may have been the go-to choice of yesteryear, today’s selections boast significant advancements and options tailored to your unique needs.
Indeed, modern-day swabs come with a number of features designed for ease of use. In this post, we’ll share a comprehensive overview of specimen collection kits as well as considerations to help you determine which option is best for your application.
In many healthcare settings, media transport systems are used. These systems can optimize the specimen collection process and make handling and transporting specimens safe and convenient. They are also designed to provide rapid release, and by integrating high-quality swabs into the system, you’ll receive the best level of elution.
One popular choice for transport media is the Puritan UniTranz-RT ®. It can be used to transport any virus, in addition to bacterial specimens such as Chlamydia and Ureaplasma. The universal transport liquid suspends the cells until processed. They can be purchased as vials of transport medium exclusively; or, for utmost convenience, you can also choose different tipped applicators to complete the system.
For fastidious and both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, the Opti-Swab ® transport system is an ideal choice. The liquid amies suspends the cells until processed. It protects the viable bacteria specimens during lab transport and employs flocked or rayon swabs for effective specimen collection.
For certain types of microorganisms, enrichment media are needed to create ideal environments. By adding enrichment media, you’ll promote the development of the particular microorganism for which your testing while also limiting the growth of others. Staph organisms, for instance, require the specific liquid transport MRSA, due to its resistance to antimicrobials. Salmonella, on the other hand, can be enriched with selenite broth. LIM broth is used as an enrichment media for Group B Strep in pregnant women.
In comparison to media transport swabs, there are also Dry Transport Swab systems to consider. Dry transport swabs can be used in general-purpose cell collection and transport to the lab, testing, screening, and DNA testing.
As you can see, there are various types of systems available for the collection and transport of specimens, many of which are designed specifically for one type or group of of bacteria or viruses. While it’s helpful to know what you’re testing for in order to determine the best type of collection kit to use, it’s also beneficial to consider the place from which you’re collecting specimens on the patient. We’ll discuss these considerations below.
Considerations By Application
For certain types of specimen collection, proper practices are mandated by the CDC. For instance, to collect upper respiratory tract specimens, it is recommended by the CDC that collectors use flocked swabs to collect specimens from the tonsil and nasal areas. To avoid inactivation of certain viruses or inhibition of molecular assays, it’s recommended that users do not select wooden-shaft swabs for this application, as the wood could compromise the specimens. Additionally, sterile rayon swabs or sterile polyester swabs are recommended.
Once collection of upper respiratory tract specimens has been completed, swabs must be immediately placed into vials with non-antibiotic transport media. There are additional steps outlined by the CDC for the process, including the use of both oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. Nasopharyngeal swabs are also used to test for conditions such as whooping cough and certain types of flu.
Of course, the nose and throat aren’t the only sites for specimen collection. For any area of the body, patient sensitivity should be considered to help determine which swab and collection products to use.
For instance, rectal cultures can be obtained to identify types of bacteria indicating gastrointestinal diseases, but because of the levels of sensitivity, the gentlest swabs possible should be used to collect samples from this region. Likewise, specimens from genitalia, orifices, and any other sensitive areas should be collected using swabs that will minimize discomfort. Calcium Alginate Swabs are also a good choice, since any residual trace fiber left will safely dissolve.
Luckily, there is a vast number of options available for specimen collection and transport to keep patients safe and comfortable while also preserving the integrity of the sample. By weighing the considerations listed here, you can identify the best types of swabs, vials, and complete transport kits to best meet your needs. Harmony Business Supply has an extensive range of products available to choose from, which you can view online. If you’d like additional assistance deciding on the best option for your application, feel free to consult with one of our product specialists.
First of all, swabs come in different sizes, formats, and materials. You need to pick the right kind for the job. Confused with the huge assortment of swabs available in the market? Learn more about rayon swabs below.
Because Rayon Swabs are soft and highly absorbent, they are a good choice for applications where cotton would not be suitable.
Rayon Swabs (preferred over cotton swabs) for specimen collection.
Swabs are generally thought of as cotton wads wrapped around on one side of a small rod.
Did you know that swabs are made with many different materials?
Also, a majority of swabs used in the medical field are sterile and often made of synthetic material for better test results without contamination. If you are investing money in a swab, one strong option to consider should definitely be rayon swabs.
The Best Swab for the Job
With so many different kinds of swabs on the market, it can be hard to know which kind is best for your particular applications. Concerned with clinical applications? They are available in varying sizes and formats so that they are compatible with your applications and testing procedures.
Tips on Choosing the Best Swab Tip
The shaft of the swab is very important. Make sure that it is made of the highest quality material. Generally, you will have wood, plastic or aluminum as choices. Different shafts materials offer different flexibility and traits.
If the application is for nasopharyngeal or pediatric fields, you’ll want to use a rayon swab with an aluminum shaft that is ultra thin and highly flexible.
Look out for the swab bud. If it is for clinical purposes, the rayon swab is the best available option.
Why are Rayon Swabs Preferred?
Since one primary use is for clinics and medical fields, most rayon tipped swabs come wrapped individually so that there is no contamination and the medical results are accurate.
Rayon tips made of the top notch quality USP grade rayon fiber.
They are easily disposable and most are sterile.
Rayon swabs are available with either wooden, plastic, or aluminum shafts and you have the option to choose.
Try Out Rayon Swabs
A rayon tip swab is also considered the best for gynecological cell collection and for research work. In fact, they are without any odor or taste and thereby ideal for food industries as well. Overall, rayon swabs are better in most cases than other alternative options like cotton.
Like Mom always said, you won’t know until you try it. Try out rayon tipped swabs in your applications and see the difference today.
If you need assistance selecting the right swab for your needs just get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.