In July 2012, The Daily Telegraph (Australia) reported that more than 9300 people under the age of 30 have been turned away by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) since 2004 because of a fresh tattoo.
Kathy Bowlen, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said that many blood donations are missed because of fresh tattoos Many prospective donors simply don’t come back after they have been deferred because of a new tattoo, or self defer, as they mistakenly believe they cannot donate once they have a tattoo.
So, we wanted to clarify and flesh out this misconception for our inked supporters- especially as they are a group who are certainly not afraid of needles! Essentially, you are able to donate blood six months after getting a tattoo. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service amended this time threshold in July 2010, lowering it from 12 months to six months as testing procedures for hepatitis and other blood born diseases have become more refined.
So, how can you manage your tattoos and blood donations?
We recommend trying to get in and donate before your first session for your first or next tattoo. This is the easiest and quickest way to make sure you can make sure you do your bloody good deed and save three lives before you get inked. Otherwise, especially if you have lots of tattoos planned, try to get them done in a short time span so the wait to donate is not so long.
We urge you to try and implement one of these strategies as the current rise in tattoos is, of course, having an inverse effect on the nation’s blood supplies, both current and future as the ARCBS need young Australians to become donors.
To book an appointment to donate blood, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service a call on 13 14 95 or simply visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment