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Network outage triggers emergency blood shortage in Western Washington

Puget Sound Blood Center has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations at its centers this weekend and into next week as a result of a multi-state telecommunications power outage that occurred across 40 states. - Courtesy photo
Puget Sound Blood Center has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations at its centers this weekend and into next week as a result of a multi-state telecommunications power outage that occurred across 40 states.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Puget Sound Blood Center has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations at its centers this weekend and into next week resulting from today's multi-state telecom network outage.

"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."

PSBC immediately 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.

PSBC's Seattle Central and Bellevue telephone and computer systems continued to function during the outage. Orders from King County hospitals for transfusion testing and blood components were handled through PSBC's Central Seattle using fax and cellular services. Centers and mobile units that lost connectivity began switching over to backup systems at 10:30 am, with full service restored by early afternoon.

"We're urgently asking people to schedule time this weekend or early next week to donate blood," AuBuchon said. "That will get us through this unforeseeable shortage."

Centers may be open for additional hours during the weekend: please check at www.psbc.org. Appointments can be made online atschedule.psbc.org or by phone by calling 1-800-398-7888.

Donation center locations:

Bellevue Center
1021 112th Ave. NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-453-4011

Everett Center
2703 Oakes Ave.
Everett, WA 98201
425-740-2909

Federal Way Center
1414 S 324th St.
Suite B101
Federal Way, WA 98003

Lynnwood Center
19723 Highway 99, Suite F
Lynnwood, WA 98036
425-774-6366

Olympia Center
1220 Eastside St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
360-352-1100

North Seattle Center
10357 Stone Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98133
206-526-1970

Seattle Center
921 Terry Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
206-292-6500

Tukwila Center
130 Andover Park E
Tukwila, WA 98188
206-241-6300

 

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