The vital reason these medical professionals want to teach you how to use a tourniquet.
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Dignity Health

On Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, 59 people were killed and over 500 more were injured in a mass shooting. It was devastating, but that didn't stop people from trying to help.

"People were calling nonstop to our ER, and I'm sure every other ER, asking if they could show up and donate blood," recalls Carolyn Smith, an ER trauma nurse at Dignity Health in Henderson, Nevada. "People were showing up at the door to donate blood at 2 in the morning."

Photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/U.S. Air National Guard.


Smith has been a first responder on the scene at many disasters, both natural and human-caused. One thing she's noticed is that there are often countless people who want to offer their assistance. This was especially apparent in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

"It was a very humbling experience to see people, not only in Houston, but from all over the state, coming to help no matter what color, what race, what religion, what tax bracket," she recalls.

Obviously giving blood after one of these tragedies is helpful, but what about in the immediate aftermath of something like a shooting? What can you do if someone is actually bleeding out in front of you?

It's easy to feel helpless in the presence of such a situation, but it's in those precise moments that you can be the most helpful.

There are simple steps you can take to try to save someone's life if they're bleeding uncontrollably. They just require some know-how.

This graphic comes from a program called "Stop the Bleed," which was launched after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. It's designed to teach people the basic skills needed to stop a serious bleed from becoming life-threatening.

"They found that there were a significant number of what we call 'preventable deaths' [at Sandy Hook]," explains Dr. Sean Dort, a surgeon at Dignity Health. "If somebody knew the skills we're teaching, they would've been able to save lives."

The free Stop the Bleed program offers explicit guides to help prepare civilians to act in a situation where someone is bleeding profusely. You can also access free bleeding control classes in every state, where trained professionals teach you how to properly put on a tourniquet and pack a wound.

Teachers regularly oversee classes at capacity, which makes sense given that 2017 saw more mass shootings than any other year in modern U.S. history. Gun-shot wounds have become far too commonplace, and people seem to be tired of feeling helpless in the face of them.

A woman putting a tourniquet on a practice dummy. Photo via Dignity Health.

Medical professionals like Smith and Dort hope this impulse to be prepared will be a trend that continues.

"We need to embed [bleeding control] into the American subconscious the way CPR is," says Dort.

If bleeding control was taught, alongside CPR, in schools across the country, kids would head into adulthood armed with two vital sets of lifesaving skills. As a result, future mass shootings and other catastrophic events may not be nearly so devastating.

The more people on the scene equipped to stop bleeding, the better chance victims have of surviving until medical professionals can get to them.

It could be the difference between giving over to panic and turning a potentially bleak situation around.

For more information on how to stop bleeding, check out the video below:

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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