Miami, OK, hospital flooded with tornado patients from Joplin, Mo.

Victims from the Sunday tornado in Joplin, Mo., are being treated by Oklahoma health care workers at hospitals in Miami and Grove. The Red Cross has sent professional staff to Joplin to help but is keeping volunteers in state in case severe weather breaks out in Oklahoma.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Published: May 24, 2011
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The Red Cross sent blood, supplies and professional staff members to Joplin, Mo., on Monday but kept its volunteers in the state in case Oklahoma should be hit with its own severe weather.


“Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who lost loved ones or have suffered through these deadly storms,” Janienne Bella, American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma CEO, said Monday. “The Red Cross already has people on the ground to help in these communities, and more are on the way today.”

Supplies shipped to areas affected by Sunday's storms included comfort kits, tarps, coolers, rakes and other cleanup supplies. Staff members sent to Missouri were primarily health care and mental health workers.

“At this time, volunteers from Oklahoma are on standby for the possibility of severe weather in our own state before being deployed to Missouri,” Bella said in a news release.

Other agencies that sent aid to the Joplin area included the Oklahoma City Fire Department, which sent two teams of rescue dogs Sunday night.

Some Oklahoma hospitals sent supplies and workers to Joplin, while others accepted Missouri tornado victims as patients.

Victims started arriving at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami soon after the tornado hit, showing up in private vehicles and by ambulance about 7 p.m. Sunday, said nursing supervisor Terri Cox.

Monday, 81 tornado victims were treated in Miami, with 29 admitted to the hospital. Cox said two people were in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit. One patient went to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

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