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‘Hand of God’: Moving photo of nurse trying to comfort isolated patient in Brazil’s Covid ward goes viral

In order to alleviate the suffering of a patient with Covid-19 who was intubated, the nurse technician identified as Semei Araújo Cunha decided to fill two latex gloves with warm water to support the woman's hand.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 11, 2021 11:29:45 am
gloves hand, tiny hand gloves, nurse gloves hand for covid patient, nurse comfort covid patient with latex gloves hand, brazil covid deaths, viral news, indian expressWhile people loved the idea, they remarked that the image is heartbreaking at the same time.

As Brazil reports a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases as well as the death toll, the health system in the country is under pressure. However, despite the impossible odds, it’s kindness of the frontline workers that is making people emotional online. One such novel idea of a nurse to comfort an ailing patient to mimic the ‘caring human touch’ is going viral.

As people around the world continues to bear the brunt of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American country has been badly impacted. The kind action of a nurse as she tried to simulate human touch by using disposable surgical gloves has won kudos.

As the coronavirus makes it impossible for loved ones to be physically present to provide support and care for infected patients, the nurse tried her best to recreate the feeling of someone’s hands being held. She filled the gloves with warm water and tied them together, securing the patient’s hand. The image has been going viral across social media sites from Reddit to Instagram and people are saluting the nurse for her compassion and empathy.

According to G1 Globo, the picture is from the Vila Prado Emergency Care Unit (UPA), a hospital in São Carlos, São Paulo. In order to alleviate the suffering of a patient with Covid-19 who was intubated, the nurse technician, identified as Semei Araújo Cunha, decided to fill two latex gloves with warm water to support the woman’s hand.

“All for the sake of affection, comfort and care for the patient, it is not enough to be professional, you have to be empathetic human, letting the heart speak is good”, Cunha wrote on her social media handle while sharing the image that went subsequently viral across the world.

“As we had an intubated patient, we decided to do it as a form of affection, stroking, humanizing, as if someone was taking her hand, and also to soften the extremities that were very cold, the hand was very cold”, she was quoted.

According to the news outlet, the novel idea of ​​putting on the glove to comfort the patient came after she and co-workers Mariah Santos and Vanessa Formenton saw a similar action in a nursing application that went viral in the country. The technique became known as the ‘little hand’.

Nurse Lidiane Melo, who works in a hospital on Ilha do Governador, North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, invented the idea last year when was unable to measure a patient’s saturation.

“His hand was very cold. I wrapped it in orthopedic cotton and bandage, which is a practice foreseen in nursing, but it did not work. Circulation did not improve. I thought about wetting his hand with warm water, but because of the risk of contamination, the idea was not a good one. I thought a little more and put the warm water inside the surgical gloves and wrapped it in his hand,” Melo to a local daily at the time.

“I made this glove with hot water to improve my patient’s perfusion and see saturation better, and I hope she feels that someone is holding her hand,” she had written on her social media profile.

As people were moved by the health professional’s thoughtful gesture, many also commented the image left them heartbroken seeing the dire condition of patients left in isolation.

Brazilian court ordered probe into the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the full court ruled that churches can be barred from reopening during the pandemic. President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the threat of the coronavirus while arguing that the economic and emotional impacts of shutdowns would harm more Brazilians than the pandemic.

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