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.

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

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."

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Pexels and @drjoekort / TikTok

Gay sex and relationships therapist Dr. Joe Kort is causing a stir on TikTok where he explains why straight men who have sex with men can still be considered straight. If a man has sex with a man doesn't it ultimately make him gay or bisexual?

According to Kort, there can be a big chasm between our sexual and romantic orientations.

"Straight men can be attracted to the sex act, but not to the man. Straight men having sex with men doesn't cancel somebody's heterosexuality any more than a straight woman having sex with a woman cancels her [heterosexuality]," he says in the video.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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