And, in a few weeks, when Wapello County and surrounding areas needed blood, the donors would be drained and the supply would be no good.
“We are not low, and the critical injury patients have been treated. We were glad to be a part of it,” Winn said. “We still need the appointments to keep going, so the blood supply stays in balance and is available. The main lesson we take from this [tragedy] is it’s the blood on the shelf that counts.”
The Red Cross has been giving instructions and suggestions to its local chapters.
“There’s been a request for disaster assistance in the form of mental health professionals and nurses,” said Brandon Holstrom, response coordinator and manager of the Southern Prairie Chapter of the American Red Cross, located in Ottumwa.
The Ottumwa office can still help out. Professionals who find themselves with time on their hands and a desire to make a difference may be able to coordinate through Holstrom.
“They’re the first people we send to a disaster, mental health, along with nurses,” he said.