I have aged parents whom I come into close contact with everyday. And I have 2 daughters who are still studying and sitting for important examinations this year end. As such, when I had a slight sore throat yesterday morning i.e. 26 August 2021, I decided it was best to do a Covid-19 self test.

I therefore asked my dad to pick up a test kit for me from Guardian Pharmacy; I felt it was irresponsible to leave the house to pick it up myself as I was unsure if I was well. He come back home with 2 Abbott Panbio Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Self Test Kit, one of which I used to do my self test.

The Test Kit Is Easy To Use

Before administering the test, I prepared myself by reading the instructions that came included with the kit. Thereafter, I watched the CNA video and found it to be very useful. The instructions together with the video made the steps very clear. Hence, confidently I went about self-administering the test at around 9pm. Just 15 minutes later, I got my results; it was negative and I was happy.

My view, the test kit is indeed easy to use and I will happily recommend it to anyone in need of a Covid-19 self test.

I Did However Encounter A Problem…

When breaking the tab on the bottle containing the buffer solution, because of my shortsightedness, I placed the bottle a tat too close to my eyes. When the tab broke, a few droplets of the buffer solution found their way to my eyes. Wondering if these droplets that got into my eyes would cause problems, I read the instructions one more time. I was a little shocked that point 13 of Warnings and Precautions section that stated that if the solution gets into your eyes, you’ll need to rinse it in running water for at least 15 minutes. I wasn’t sure if this was a printing error because I thought 15 minutes of rinsing is a very long time. As the line above highlighted that the buffer solution contains <0.1% Sodium Azide, I googled “Sodium Azide” to find out more about this chemical compound. To my horror, I discovered that this compound is very toxic and the instructions to rinse for 15 minutes is indeed accurate.

I’m sharing my experience here so that others who read this article will be able to take the added precaution of placing the buffer solution bottle a little further away when breaking the tab.

Feedback – Precaution Should Be Better Positioned

My feedback to Abbott is this. Because of the toxicity of Sodium Azide, it’s use and precautions should be stated more clearly on the section (of the instruction leaflet) on breaking the buffer solution bottle tab. On that section, the need to place the bottle further away from oneself should be highlighted as should a warning of the need to rinse one’s eye in running water for 15 minutes should the solution find it’s way to your eyes.

I seriously wonder what would have happened if I missed the instructions on the need to rinse. Perhaps nothing because the buffer solution contains only <0.1% Sodium Azide? Perhaps the amount of Sodium Azide is too low to cause any damage? I won’t know because I’m not a doctor. It’s around 1.20am now, about 4 hours after the mishap; what I do know is that I’ll be monitoring my symptoms. When it comes to our eyes, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

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