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Heroes

Thanks to a new invention, sponges may soon help save shooting victims.

After getting FDA approval, this handy device will soon be making its way to first responders.

While debate over how to reduce gun violence carries on, there's a new tool that might, at least, help victims of it.

It's called the XSTAT, and it's a wonderful, ridiculously simple invention that's sure to save lives in coming years.

Invented by John Steinbaugh, a former U.S. Army special forces medic, XSTAT was the result of a request from the Army for something to replace gauze, the go-to battlefield wound-packer for decades. Steinbaugh decided to see whether it'd be possible to replace gauze with sponges that can both absorb blood and apply pressure to gunshot or shrapnel wounds.


Here he is discussing his invention in a 2014 episode of "PBS NewsHour."


Simple! Effective! Life-saving! GIF from "PBS NewsHour."

Sponges are injected into the wound, clotting the blood.

The sponges are coated with blood-clotting chemicals and have been shown to stop bleeding after just 20 seconds (as opposed to three to five minutes with gauze).

Here's what it looks like in action. (Pretend that the opening in this Erlenmeyer flask is a bullet wound and the blue liquid is blood.)


Sponges are injected into the wound. GIF from "PBS NewsHour."


Within seconds, they clot the wound, expanding and applying pressure. GIF from "PBS NewsHour."

This helps buy precious time to get the victim to a surgeon.

As Dr. Martin Schreiber — chief of trauma at the Oregon Health and Science University and colonel in the Army Reserve — tells PBS, the difference between 20 seconds and three minutes can mean the difference between life and death.


GIF from "PBS NewsHour."

"According to the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research, 30 to 40 percent of civilian deaths by traumatic injury are the result of hemorrhaging," reads the FDA's notice of approval for the XSTAT 30 (the version made for first responders, paramedics, police officers, and the like). "Of those deaths, 33 to 56 percent percent occur before the patient reaches a hospital."

Of course, the XSTAT is not a cure-all. There are some catches involved.

For one, certain factors like the size and shape of the wound will determine whether the XSTAT 30 is the most effective option. And, of course, this is merely to help buy time for a victim to get to a hospital, at which point the sponges (marked with an "X" that will show up on X-rays) need to be removed.

But it's a quick, simple update to some old technology.

I could watch this GIF all day. GIF from "PBS NewsHour."

If there's one thing we can take away from this invention, it's that solutions don't always need to be sophisticated.

Sometimes the best inventions and innovations come from the simplest ideas. For example, take this gravity-powered light that's been popping up in countries where electricity is scarce.

Behold! The gravity light! GIF from Therefore.

So whether it's updating a battlefield staple like gauze or using forces of nature to stand in for electricity, look around! You never know where the next great invention will come from.

To learn more about this invention and its uses, check out this video from "PBS NewsHour."

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Health

Burnout has therapists seeking other careers when mental health care is needed more than ever

For a therapist, the decision to leave the field doesn’t come easily.

Therapists are leaving the profession, creating a shortage just when their services are most needed.

Most of us know that the pandemic has taken a significant toll on people's mental health. Everyone from young kids who missed out on important socialization and learning during the lockdowns to older adults who experienced isolation, to teens, college students, young people just starting out in the world of work and parents … every slice of the population had legitimate struggles. Those seeking therapy were often left stranded due to long waitlists or difficulty finding a therapist that accepts their insurance. That's if they were lucky enough to get a callback.

Therapists themselves have become so overwhelmed and badly burned out that many have just thrown in the towel, and the situation continues to get worse. I was one of those therapists! Walking away was the hardest thing I’ve done because of how much I care about the people I help.

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10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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