Hand of God: nurse provides support where patients die alone

In this ingenious way, nursing provides support in hospitals where patients die alone: As if someone was holding their hand.

‘Hand of God’ is how nurses from a hospital in Brazil call the way one of them devised to provide support and comfort to seriously ill patients who lie all alone in the corona wards.

They tie two latex gloves together, fill them with warm water, and then slide them over a patient’s hand. “It is as if someone is holding it.”

Brazil is one of the hardest-hit countries in the corona pandemic. The corona figures are breaking record after record. According to the Ministry of Health, 4,249 people were killed in 24 hours on Thursday, and that was never that many. Hospitals run at maximum capacity and even have to refuse patients.

Brazilian nurse Semei Araújo Cunha has now devised a way to give a little comfort and warmth to the many corona patients who are in isolation in the hospital. She shared a poignant photo of it on social media.


Semei Araújo Cunha knotted two latex gloves together with fingers and filled them with warm water. She then slid it over a patient’s hand. “We decided to do that because it gives a feeling of affection, hugging, like someone holding the patient’s hand,” she told Brazilian news site G1. It also keeps the extremities of intubated patients warm.

The woman works in the intensive care unit of Vila Prado in São Carlos, not far from São Paulo. Admiring reactions came from all over the world: “Two knotted disposable gloves full of warm water that mimic impossible human contact,” he said, among other things. “Respect for primary care. It also reminds us in a poignant way of today’s bleak situation.” And also: “Only a nurse can think of such a thing. Heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.”

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