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 FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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