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Tattoo FAQ 11: Can I donate blood after getting a tattoo?

Original question from our visitor: I wanted to know if it is true that once i get a tattoo i cant donate blood again.


The short answer is: You can donate blood in most countries, but usually not right after getting a tattoo.

At this time I am not aware of a country that refuses blood donors with tattoos completely. Looking at the ever growing popularity of tattoos, organizations with such a harsh policy might be up shit-creek anyway, since the number of potential donors will drop rapidly.

The most common time frame you will have to wait before donating seems to be 6-12 months.
If you got any infection while getting a tattoo, blood banks figure you know after that time frame. All donated blood is tested for infections anyway, but trust me that also non-profit organizations get a lot of cash for your blood but they don't want to "waste" money testing your blood if they think that there is a good chance of it being infected.

But under which rock did blood banks sleep when they think that a 'tattoo' automatically means 'infection'? I assume that this would be the next logical question to ask, and I can't answer that. A lot of blood banks simply don't seem to have an up-to-date policy when it comes to tattooed donors. In the old days there might have been a reason for a policy like this, but today tattooing has become much more regulated, cleaner and more professional all together.

Personally I like both: Tattoos and donating blood - and I do both. I usually don't donate 4-6 month after getting ink, but this is my personal choice.
I might not be the textbook case anyway since my donating blood is not primarily motivated by the want to help others, but by the knowledge that loosing some blood a few times a year is good for you and motivates your body to produce new and fresh blood thus cleansing the ol' frame a bit.

Bottom line is: there is no world-wide regulation, so ask what your local antediluvian law says about waiting times...

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