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Newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic aims to enhance experience, increase donations

WATCH: Canadian Blood Services walks us through their donation process, sharing that it's much easier than people may think.

Canadian Blood Services hopes a major renovation to the Edmonton donor clinic will result in more people coming through the doors.

Part of the refurbishment project at the clinic near the University of Alberta was to introduce the Donor Centre of the Future design concept — a national initiative that aims to enhance the donor experience.

When donors arrive at the clinic, they’re greeted by a person who guides them to check in using an electronic kiosk. The technology allows people to not only sign in for their appointment, but book their next appointment.

READ MORE: Blood donors asked to share their stories as officials seek to shore up supply

Another perk to the new system is that repeat donors can fill out their donor questionnaire online before arriving at the clinic.

The waiting area is also warmer and more open than before. CBS said the new design was created with the help of donor and staff feedback.

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“One of the things that was really important to them is a social interaction with donors, a streamlined process and really [a] space that is inviting for them to donate,” said Jennifer Gretzan-Melnichuk, associate director or donor relations with CBS.

“We have received some very generous and very positive feedback from donors on the new design and their positive donation experience as a result.”

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The renovations were finished in June and while Gretzan-Melnichuk said it’s too early to say whether the streamlined donation process has led to an increase in donors, that’s one of the major goals.

“Part of the Donor Centre of the Future design goal was to increase our donor base by making a more inviting and a more interactive space for the donors,” she said. “By increasing our donor base, we ensure we’re able to meet our patient needs by ensuring we have a strong inventory of blood and blood products, not only in Edmonton but across Canada for the national blood supply.”

READ MORE: Health Canada lowers blood donation abstinence period for men who have sex with men

A strong inventory means the world to those who have undergone blood transfusion.

“I would not be here without the donations of healthy blood donors,” Rachelle Drummond said.

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Drummond was five years old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She endured nearly three years of chemotherapy before completing treatment in 2006. She’s now 12 years cancer-free but said without the generosity of blood donors, she may not have been able to receive cancer treatment.

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“As soon as I went into cancer treatment I had 50,000 white blood cells in my blood. The normal range for a healthy person is 4,000 to 11,000 white blood cells. Immediately I was put on blood transfusions,” Drummond said Thursday.

“When your blood is overtaken by cancer, it’s not without the donations of healthy blood donors that you can make it through.

“Without healthy blood counts, a child cannot receive chemotherapy.”

While Drummond is not eligible to be a blood donor because of the type of cancer she had, she encourages people to find out if they’re eligible to donate and learn more about the process.

To book an appointment or learn more about the donation process, visit the CBS website.

The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Global News
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Global News
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Global News
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Global News
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
The newly renovated Edmonton blood donor clinic. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Global News
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