Pre-admissions COVID-19 test

Last updated on Tue, 16th Feb 2021

All people being admitted for surgery are required to answer a questionnaire and have a swab taken for COVID-19 testing.

My hospital phoned me a couple of weeks ago to make an appointment, which for my hospital needs to be done 72 hours (3 days) before surgery. The appointment was then confirmed in a letter.

I turned up at my appointment time today, with my mask on of course, and was shown to a seat just inside the door to the hospital. After a few minutes I was called in.

One person ran through the questions on the questionnaire – things like if I have any symptoms, or contact with others with symptoms,or those that had been asked to self-isolate. Then a second person, dressed in full PPE, did the swab.

They used a sterile swab – a bit like a long cotton bud – and took a sample from the back of my throat and up my nose. They got me to sit with my head back and say “Ahhhh”, and they swabbed right at the back of the throat. I had a bit of reflex to gag on it, but I believe that’s normal. Similarly it went quite a long way up my nose, which also made me want to sneeze.

However it was over very quickly, and I would say that it was momentarily unpleasant, and certainly not painful.

They then told me that the results would be known in around 24 hours, and that if I heard nothing then to assume the test was negative, and that my surgery would go ahead on Thursday.

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