Gloves mimic human touch for COVID-19 patients

The fight against COVID-19 is a lonely one, with hospital patients battling for survival without family or friends by their side.

But two nurses in Brazil have discovered a small way to give a helping hand.

They fill and tie latex gloves with warm water - like water balloons - and link them through patients' fingers to mimic the human touch.

They call the improvized technique "little hands of love."

[Semei Araujo Cunha, saying:] "It is something that cannot be explained. It's unbelievable how fast you can see a change in the patient."

Semei Araújo Cunha and Vanessa Formention developed the method last month, as the current brutal surge in COVID-19 was gaining speed.

Here, Cunha is putting gloves on each hand of an unconscious patient, fighting for his life.

They say there are additional benefits, beyond the emotional support it can provide.

[Vanessa Formention, saying:] "We noticed that in addition to improving blood flow, the patient's hand being cold gives false readings of low oxygen levels, so warming the hand improves that issue. Also, because of the human element, the patient feels comforted as if someone were holding hands with them."

The idea began with the two of them in their Sao Carlos hospital, in Sao Paulo state.

Now hospitals around the city are adopting the technique, with staff praising the gloves for hand-delivering immediate results.