“The network outage caused the loss of both telephone and computer connectivity for most PSBC locations, resulting in cancellation of scheduled blood drives and suspension of collections at all donor centers,” said Dr. James AuBuchon, president and CEO of PSBC. “This triggered an emergency shortage of blood locally.” PSBC needs to collect about 900 units each day to maintain essential inventories of blood components.
On Friday morning PSBC requested all western Washington hospitals to minimize usage of blood components for the next 48 hours. PSBC expects to continue to meet critical hospital needs during this period. About 40 states were impacted by the widespread outage, with the greatest impact in Washington and several other states.
“PSBC has contacted other U.S. blood centers, but with such a widespread outage and severe winter storms in the eastern U.S., the ability of other blood centers to respond is limited or uncertain,” AuBuchon said.
”We’re urgently asking people to schedule time this week to donate blood,” AuBuchon said. “That will help get us through this unforeseeable shortage.”