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What is an NPA and how do you collect one?

Hi, i know this is pretty specific but I want to understand more about what an NPA is and how to collect one. Is this a sputum sample where you suction the back of the pharynx or am I completely off the scale? I heard of this ages ago but cant for the life of me remember.

Baby Wrangler

Specializes in NICU.

What does NPA stand for? Is it like a nasopharyngeal swab? We don't do those all that often but you have to stick the swab pretty deep down the baby's nostril. We have special softer flexible swabs for it.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU.

On my old unit as a nurse, we used the sterile suction set that we used for suctioning vents. If the baby had no secretions, then you could first put a couple of normal saline drops in the nose. We attached a new sump trap (the thing that attaches to an NG when you have a baby on intermittent suctioning like a post-op baby) to the wall suction, and then put on sterile gloves, attached the catheter to the trap, and then suctioned out some nasal discharge. Usually didn't go very deep, maybe a couple of centimeters.

Ok thanks. Do you do NPA's quite regularly. Its not something im overly familiar with.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU.

We would do them for respiratory cultures, typically for viral ones. Not super often, but more common during RSV season.

Bortaz, MSN, RN

Specializes in CDI Supervisor; Formerly NICU.

This is what we did at my old NICU too.

On my old unit as a nurse, we used the sterile suction set that we used for suctioning vents. If the baby had no secretions, then you could first put a couple of normal saline drops in the nose. We attached a new sump trap (the thing that attaches to an NG when you have a baby on intermittent suctioning like a post-op baby) to the wall suction, and then put on sterile gloves, attached the catheter to the trap, and then suctioned out some nasal discharge. Usually didn't go very deep, maybe a couple of centimeters.

Thankyou very much for all replies. I havent yet done an NPA but im sure i will at some point. :)

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi.

On my old unit as a nurse, we used the sterile suction set that we used for suctioning vents. If the baby had no secretions, then you could first put a couple of normal saline drops in the nose. We attached a new sump trap (the thing that attaches to an NG when you have a baby on intermittent suctioning like a post-op baby) to the wall suction, and then put on sterile gloves, attached the catheter to the trap, and then suctioned out some nasal discharge. Usually didn't go very deep, maybe a couple of centimeters.

That's how we did it when I first worked in a pediatric hospital but they changed the policy a few years back and just had swabs for all that, no suction required.

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