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Airdrie donates: blood donor clinic booked solid

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:38 pm

Canadian Blood Services phlubotomist Tess Pineda prepares Airdrie resident Terry Lelievre to have his iron levels checked before he donated blood on Jan. 10 at the donor clinic held at Genesis Place.
Canadian Blood Services phlubotomist Tess Pineda prepares Airdrie resident Terry Lelievre to have his iron levels checked before he donated blood on Jan. 10 at the donor clinic held at Genesis Place.
Matt Durnan/Rocky View Publishing

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The Canadian Blood Services made a stop at Genesis Place on Jan. 10 for the first of two blood donor clinics in Airdrie this month.

Darlene Neufeld, registered nurse with Canadian Blood Services, said the Jan. 10 clinic was fully booked to the point that they could not take walk-in donors.

“We’re booked solid and we’re hoping to see about 150 donors,” said Neufeld. “In some clinics ,we’re able to take walk-in donors, but this clinic was filled pretty quickly.”

Those who wished to donate blood were able to do so by registering at www.blood.ca where they filled in their donor information and registered for a time slot.

Donors are able to give blood every 56 days; for Airdrie resident Terry Lelievre it had been a little longer but he was glad to take part in the clinic.

“This is my fourth time giving blood, but I haven’t done it since last summer,” said Lelievre.

“It’s a good thing to do to help others out who need it, and for me personally I find that a week or so after giving blood, I feel rejuvenated and refreshed.”

Lelievre heard about the clinic through his work at CP Rail, and he has also given blood through the Canadian Red Cross.

“I don’t really remember what got me to donate my first time,” he said.

“I think I just more or less decided that it was something I wanted to do.”

Canadian Blood Services will return to Airdrie for a donor clinic on Jan. 28 at the Town and Country Centre from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The process for the donation itself takes about one hour from the time donors enter the clinic to the time they are released, according to Neufield.

Donors are first processed through intake, before having their iron levels tested by a phlebotomist - people trained to draw blood. Once their iron levels have been taken, they are required to fill out a written screening to address their donation records.

After this process has been completed, patients have 500 millilitres (ml) of blood drawn, before being given recovery time and refreshments.

The clinic at Genesis Place was staffed by 23 people and was just one of the dozens of clinics that Canadian Blood Services conducts weekly in southern Alberta.

“We operate these clinics six days a week, three times a day,” said Neufeld, who explained a clinic held in Airdrie can help many people.

“This blood can be used across the entire country, not just locally, but wherever there is a need for it.”

The blood from one donor can be used for up to three patients. Canadian Blood Services collects approximately 850,000 units of blood annually across the country that are administered to thousands of patients.

That need, according to Neufeld, is ongoing and is what makes the clinics and donors so important.

“The need for blood is always greater than the supply,” said Neufeld.

“It never stops.”

For information on future clinics in Airdrie, or information on how to register to become a donor can visit www.blood.ca


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