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To support Covid intubated, nurses use ‘little hand of love’

RIBEIRÃO PRETO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – Upon realizing that a patient with intubated Covid-19 had cold hands, a nursing technician and a nurse from São Carlos (232 km from São Paulo) started to think of something to ease the woman’s discomfort. Coincidence, both had seen moments before a colleague from another state proposing the use of surgical gloves with warm water for similar situations. They ran, filled two gloves with warm water, tied their fists and put one of the patient’s hands between the gloves filled with water. They said they perceived a feeling of relief from the intubated woman and the technique went viral and started to be used with patients diagnosed with the disease at the UPA (Emergency Care Unit) of Vila Prado, where they work. “I saw the idea at lunch, and when I came back to work in the emergency room, a colleague said the same thing. I just said ‘I can’t believe it, let’s do it’, it was such a coincidence. We did everything together”, said the nursing technician Semei Araújo Cunha, 46, who started to adopt the method together with nurse Vanessa Formenton. Semei said that the patient’s hands were becoming cyanotic (purple) and that, after deciding to do the procedure, she took her gloves to the shower in the room to be filled with warm water. “When we finished putting it on, we said ‘look how cool’. We felt a warmth, it seems that she spoke with her eyes, even intubated. We put the gloves on her little hand and rubbed her face. It was a form of affection, no only physical, but also emotional. It’s not just medicine, hygiene or food that help. The patient isn’t there because he wants to, but because he needs it. You need to empathize. ” The pioneer patient in the technique needed to be transferred to Santa Casa de São Carlos and the team does not know what her clinical condition is today. A graduate of the nursing technician course in 2019, Semei got her first job in the field months later, in April last year, with the pandemic already underway. And he discovered on a daily basis that his journey in the profession would not be easy and that, in a few minutes, the patient who arrives infected with the new coronavirus may have a “sunken” health condition. “It is an intense routine. Run after the exam, bathe the patient, change, run with oxygen from one side to the other and, in the midst of all this, you need to pay attention to the patient. It is a matter of minutes for him to sink It sometimes arrives quite well, but in 15 minutes, half an hour, it decays and in less than an hour it may already be necessary to intubate it. ” The stressful routine has an impact on the emotional state of employees throughout the health sector in the pandemic. At the HC (Hospital das Clínicas) in Ribeirão Preto (313 km from São Paulo), for example, there was a 100% increase in requests for consultations in psychology between a fortnight and another in February, caused by anxiety due to the long duration of the pandemic. and stress due to the loss of a family member or friend by Covid-19. At HCPA (Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre), in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, the demand for psychological service by their employees quadrupled during the pandemic. São Carlos lives in a critical scenario, with 100% of the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds occupied. This Wednesday (31), the city confirmed the deaths of seven people, which occurred in the last three days. The accumulated number of deaths is 216 and 13,944 cases of the new coronavirus. In addition, the Municipality of Araraquara reported that, on Thursday (1), its hospitals interned 33 patients from São Carlos diagnosed with Covid-19. It is the city with the most people hospitalized in Araraquara. “Many young people are dying and we put ourselves in the place of the person or even someone in the family. I wonder if it were my daughter, my grandson. It interferes with anyone’s psychological situation. The patient arrives, gets sick and starts to ask for help. “Help me, please, I don’t want to be intubated.” The same day or the next day, I arrive and he is intubated, has been transferred from the hospital, or has died. It’s sad. ” Acting on the front line, Semei contracted Covid-19 in the first half of last year. She did not need to be hospitalized, but she said she had more than a month of symptoms, which helped her to get even closer to the patients. “I worked for 17 years in the health administration. When I lost my father 12 years ago, I saw that the employees lacked empathy and even knowledge about who the patient was. I told myself that when I became a health professional, I would help change the frame.” Since the first use of the “little hand of love”, as the practice was known among employees, on the last 20th, other intubated patients who have cold hands have already been the target of the technique at the UPA. “None of the intubated patients know that they are being subjected to the glove, but we, at the same time, feel that they know that they are receiving affection. That is what matters.”

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