There is no substitute for human blood as it cannot be manufactured. The gift of blood is the noblest and the most precious of all gifts and just as valuable as donating organs since it’s like offering someone a chance at life. Donating your blood to someone is one of the most positive ways to help someone in need.
You all must have heard about the sports megastar Cristiano Ronaldo that he refused to ink any tattoo on his skin because he is regular blood donator. But, with this increasing scenario of getting tattoos, 1 out of every 5 persons in the world has at least one tattoo inked on his/her skin. There are a lot of myths surrounding blood donation, but one of the most common is the belief that people with tattoos are ineligible to give blood. Does that mean the population of blood donators has decreased? Well! Let me help you in that case. Let’s check whether tattoo guys, like you, can save lives or not.
A Big Yesss!!
Yes, you can donate the blood while you have a tattoo embedded on your skin. At one time, there was a greater restriction about it in the blood industry. We have all heard the horror stories of people who got hepatitis from tattoos or piercings. With increased regulations on the tattoo industry, there are more options for giving blood after you get one. So, you can be part of this noble cause and can save millions of lives around you. But there are some specific requirements which you have to met before donating the blood. Let’s understand them.
1. How long you have to wait to give blood after getting a tattoo?
It is the second question that arises in everyone’s mind who has a tattoo after the question about eligibility. The period after getting ink to becoming a healthy donor is called Deferral period. And once you got a tattoo means you are deferred. Don’t Worry; it is again the myth. According to the Red Cross, Blood donation is acceptable at earliest after getting inked if the tattoo was applied by a state-regulated entity using sterile technique. Only a few states currently regulate tattoo facilities, so most donors with tattoos must wait 12 months after tattoo application before donating blood. So, generally, you have to wait for 4 months to 12 months after getting a tattoo to donate blood.
2. How to check whether you are an eligible donor after getting inked?
In India, The Department of Health is responsible for the administration and registration of the tattoo parlor. They are registered under the section 23-1-39 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended, and the rules and regulations herein, as they apply to the registering of tattoo parlors/shops. The regulated tattoo shops are required to pass certain safety and health standards to avoid contaminating blood with bloodborne conditions. These standards can’t be guaranteed with unregulated tattoo shops. The regulated tattoo shops in India makes us eligible to donate blood after six months.
In the US, Getting a tattoo at a tattoo shop that’s not state-regulated makes you ineligible to donate blood for a full year. There are 11 States in the US which, don’t require tattoo shops to be regulated include:
- Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming, Washington D.C.
3. What is the procedure you have to undergo before donating blood?
When you go for blood donation in the blood bank, the employees in the blood bank will do the assessment and will take a brief health history from you. Assessment includes:
- You have to disclose the freshly get tattoo or any old tattoo to the blood bank employees.
- You have to provide the complete information to the blood bank, which includes; from where did you get the tattoo, when did you get the last tattoo, by whom and How?
- You have to provide the correct data with proof that the tattoo was inked under the sterile condition and the ink applied was new.
- You also have to give any previous history of the blood-borne disease.
This assessment is to guard against the spread of hepatitis and check any risk for Transmissible Transfusion Infection (TTI) which include HIV AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and other blood born disorders.
4. Meeting other Basic Requirements
Along with the assessment for tattoo inks, below are the minimum requirements for donating blood:
- be at least 17 years old
- weigh at least 110 pounds (49.89 kg)
- not be anemic
- not have a body temperature over 99.5°F (37.5°C)
- not be pregnant
- not have any disqualifying medical conditions
- not have gotten any tattoos, piercings, or acupuncture treatments from unregulated facilities in the past year
5. Prevention is Better than Cure
The one getting himself/herself tattooed should make sure that the artist uses new, clean and sterile needles each time to avoid blood-borne diseases. It is because, in India, each year, 10-30% cases of transfusion of Hepatitis B virus are due to the use of infected needles.
So, keep up the act of benediction and continue saving lives. But make sure you take a proper diet, and there is a gap of at least 8 weeks (56 days) between two donations.