The First Minister was forced to briefly halt her response to MSPs after being told Scotland's care homes were the "epicentre" of the Coronavirus death rates. New figures shows 59% of COVID-19 deaths in Scotland are now in care homes.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs the situation was "deeply and profoundly upsetting" for everyone.
She told Labour MSP Neil Findlay, whose mother is in a care home, he should not frame questions in a way that suggests she was not trying everything "to do the right thing" to address the issue, before breaking off.
"Excuse me Presiding Officer," a clearly emotional SNP leader said.
Mr Findlay had earlier “pleaded” with the First Minister to toughen up the testing regime for people entering care homes to tackle the virus.
"My mum like thousands of our loved ones is in a care home,” he said.
"We now have the worst deaths rates in Europe and care homes are the epicentre of the crisis with 59% of deaths occurring care homes as has been announced today.
"Can I therefore ask why on earth we are continuing to discharge patients from hospitals to care homes without establishing whether or not they are positive for COVID-19.
"I am not one that ever pleads with the First Minister but I will now - please stop this practice now to save the lives of the residents and the great people who look after them."
But the SNP took exception to the way the Labour MSP had framed his question.
Ms Sturgeon "Every single one of us is deeply concerned and moved by what is happening in our care homes.
"That is particularly the case for people like him who have relatives in care homes, but I don't think there is single one of us who does not find this a deeply and profoundly upsetting situation."
Her voice appearing to breaks, Ms Sturgeon added: "So please do not ask these questions in a way that suggests we are not all trying to do everything we possibly can to do the right thing."
"Now on the situation..."
At this stage Ms Sturgeon broke off to compose herself.
"Excuse me Presiding Officer," she said, before resuming her response.