The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne trials COVID-19 nasal swab

Friday, 24 September, 2021

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne trials COVID-19 nasal swab

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne are trialling a new device — Rhinomed Junior — to test children for COVID-19.

The device sits at the base of the nose and collects virus particles for testing. It comes in a range of colours and designs, such as moustaches and cat noses, making the whole procedure a lot less stressful.

Rhinomed Junior is currently being trialled with PCR tests at the Royal Children’s Hospital drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic, which tests about 1500 children for COVID-19 per week.

Around 250 children aged four to 18 will trial the device over the six-week trial and the results will be compared with ‘traditional’ testing methods.

Children, especially young children, can often become stressed during tests, something that not only makes it harder to obtain a sample but is also distressing for the parents and treating clinicians.

The rate at which the device is inserted into the nose can be controlled by the young person, which makes the experience less traumatic for all.

With a vaccine for children under 12 years yet to be approved and new variants continuing to emerge, nasal swabbing and testing remains the most effective tool in limiting the spread of COVID-19 amongst the youngest Victorians — which is why new technology that makes it even easier is so important.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said, “Taking a medical test can be a frightening experience for some kids, but as we know, testing is critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19 among young Victorians.”

“Rhinomed lets kids control the rate at which the swab goes in, which increases their sense of control and makes the whole experience a lot less stressful.”

Image credit: ©

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