Things Not To Do When Using A Rapid Antigen Covid Test

Things Not To Do When Using A Rapid Antigen Covid Test

Because rapid antigen tests are becoming more easily available at retail outlets like supermarkets and pharmacies, one must be aware of the proper way to utilise them. Rapid antigen testing is beneficial for determining if a person has COVID-19 before going outdoors. If you want to get the most out of your rapid antigen test (RAT), avoid these 15 mistakes.

Keeping at an improper temperature during storage
For RATs to function properly, the temperature range for them should be between 2 and 30 degrees Celsius. When the samples are stored at higher temperatures, the proteins in the tests have a greater risk of being denatured. This results in irreversible changes to the structure of the proteins, similar to what happens when you boil an egg.

Using right away from the refrigerator
In colder temperatures, the reagents, which are crucial components of a test kit, will not perform as expected. Before beginning to use the kit, allow it to warm up at room temperature for approximately half an hour.

Out-of-date tests.
Before using a rapid antigen test, you should always double-check the use-by date, which is printed on the box. Tests that have passed their expiration date may have biological or chemical reagents that have lost their potency or been denatured.

Beginning too soon.
DO NOT open any of the exam items until you are completely ready to begin the test. Leaving the container open for storage might result in a false positive (you can test positive without really having COVID).

Assuming that each test follows the same format
Some RATs need nose swabs, while others just require saliva samples. Different brands need different numbers of drops to be added to the testing instrument, different numbers of drops to put into the sample, and different amounts of time before the findings can be read. Get familiar with the instructions, particularly if it’s a new brand or it’s been a while since your previous RAT. This is especially important if it’s been a while since your last RAT.

Contamination of the test
You should NOT touch the tip of the swab with your fingers or allow it to come into contact with any other surfaces. The tip of the swab is the soft part that enters your nose.

Sampling snot
It is important to blow your nose before doing a nasal swab since you do not want to collect snot for testing. Using the method that will be explained below, you will want to swab the tissue that borders the nasal passages.

Using a swab at the incorrect angle and at the incorrect depth
You are not aiming to swab the tissue on the inside of your nose when you insert the nasal swab; rather, you are trying to swab the tissue further back in your nasal passageways. Instead of moving the swab in a vertical direction, you could try moving it in a horizontal direction and moving back about 2–3 centimetres. After that, gently spin the swab against the walls of the nasal canal the precise number of times that the test suggests doing so. Repeat the process on the other nostril.

It is recommended that parents or other responsible adults collect their children’s samples since it is simple to get the angle or depth incorrect. RAT should not be used on children less than two years old; however, you should read the instructions first if you are unsure.

Continuing with a swab that was stained with blood
If there is blood on the nasal swab, the test results will not be reliable. Throw away the test and do another one after the bleeding has stopped, or swab just the side of the body that is not experiencing any bleeding. If you have a history of nose bleeding, you should avoid doing any tests that involve swabbing your nose. Use a saliva test instead.

Consuming food or liquids before the test
A saliva test might well be incorrect if you eat, drink, chew gum, wash your teeth, or smoke before the test. As a result, don’t eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes before collecting a sample of your saliva.

Adding excessive or insufficient droplets to the testing device
Adding the correct quantity of droplets will guarantee that the liquid travels over the test surface within a predetermined amount of time. If you add too many or too few droplets, the chronology will be thrown off and the test will not function correctly.

If you read the test too soon, there is a chance that it may provide you with a false negative result (the test reads negative but you are really positive). When it is too late, it may give the impression that you are optimistic when in fact you are not.

Misreading the outcome
When you read your findings (at the appropriate time), the following will occur:
● If you have two lines on the test, it indicates that you have the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
● Having a line at C, which stands for control, indicates that the test was successful and that you have a negative result.
● Having a line at T (which stands for the test) (or A, which stands for antigen, depending on the kit) but NOT C indicates that your test is inaccurate.
● If there are no lines, then it is likely that your exam was flawed and you will need to do it again.

Making an error in the disposal of the kit
Swab, containers, reagents, test device, and any other components of the kit that have come into contact with your nasal or saliva sample should be placed in the accompanying plastic bag, sealed, and then disposed of in the trash. Only the cardboard container and the paper instructions should be placed in the recycling.

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