SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Bay Area blood supply is currently strained thanks to blood drive cancellations and unexpected closures due to power outages and wildfires, officials with the nonprofit Vitalant said Tuesday.
The Kincade Fire caused mandatory evacuations that included Vitalant’s Santa Rosa donation center and warehouse, causing them to be closed until further notice. Eight blood drives in evacuation zones and in areas affected by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) have also been canceled.
Vitalant said more closures are expected in the coming days as winds pick back up and another round of power shutoffs begins on Tuesday. Blood donors have not been able to contributed over an estimate 250 units of blood, Vitalant said.
“We need over 500 donations a day in order to meet the needs of local patients,” said Vitalant regional director Fred McFadden.
Vitalant urges those not impacted by the wildfires or outages to donate blood. “We ask that donors elsewhere make it a priority to give in the coming days to help ensure patients have the lifesaving blood when they need it,” McFadden said.
Vitalant is also urging both existing and first-time donors with all blood types to visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL to schedule a donation appointment.