San Francisco

Fires, PG&E Blackouts Straining Blood Supplies in Sonoma County

The North Bay's devastating Kincade Fire coupled with PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoffs have put a "significant strain" on the local blood supply, according to a national blood donation organization.

Officials with Vitalant, formerly the Blood Centers of the Pacific, announced Tuesday that the fire and power outages have closed the organization's Santa Rosa donation center and warehouse, which are both in mandatory evacuation areas, according to spokesman Kevin Adler.

The facilities have been closed since Sunday and there is still no estimate time for when they might reopen, Adler said.

Additionally, eight blood drives have so far been canceled in evacuation zones or in areas that have experienced power outages.

The closures and cancellations mean that so far roughly 250 units of blood have not been collected.

"We need over 500 donations a day in order to meet the needs of local patients," Vitalant Regional Director Fred McFadden said. "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."

The organization operates six donation centers serving 45 hospitals in the Bay Area, with facilities in Santa Rosa, Napa, Fairfield, San Mateo and San Francisco, according to Vitalant officials.

People who want to donate blood are asked to visit or call (877) 258-4825.

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