Donating blood is a great way to contribute to the community and can potentially be a life saving act. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S needs blood almost every two seconds. But it’s estimated that only 10% of the U.S. population donates blood each year. A big problem for most people is that they are unaware of the requirements for donating blood.
A few of the biggest reasons people don’t donate blood is because they don’t know they are eligible to donate or they are afraid of needles. Chances are if you have a tattoo or body piercing then you probably aren’t too skittish when it comes to needles. So, we are good there. But one of the most frequent questions we get here at Funhouse Tattoo, which is also one of the most common questions about donating blood is “Can I donate blood if I have a tattoo?”
Regulations on tattoos and body piercings vary from state to state in the U.S, and these regulations determines how soon you can donate blood. If you received a tattoo in a state regulated tattoo facility that is licensed then you are eligible to donate blood around two weeks after the date of the new tattoo. If you got a tattoo in with a state without these regulations then you are required to wait 6-12 months before you can donate. This also includes any tattoo touch ups and cosmetic tattoos as well. These regulations are implemented to promote a safe and sanitary environment by using sterile needles and ink without reuse. This prevents the spread of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis. This why is organizations like San Diego Blood Bank and American Red Cross Services have these donor eligibility requirements in place.
There are currently 11 of the 50 states that do not regulate tattoo facilities. Those are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Utah, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. If you got tattooed in any of these states within the last year there is a chance you will have to wait to donate your blood. Each state has their own laws and regulations when it comes to tattooing and body piercings and is important to know them if you are looking to get one done.
California heavily regulates tattoo facilities and Funhouse Tattoo is proud to uphold those standards. The County of San Diego even has its own law known as the Safe Body Art Act, which provides a specific set of standards for the body art industry. These requirements are implemented by The Food and Housing Division (FHD) of the Department of Environmental Health. Annual registration is required for all practitioners and includes the completion of blood-borne pathogen training once a year. So if you want to donate blood and you got your tattoo here in San Diego or anywhere else in California, it needs to be from a licensed facility. The guy your buddy’s neighbor knows that does tattoos might not count.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to donating blood, but donating while having a tattoo shouldn’t be one of them. If you are looking to donate here in San Diego, these calendars will help you find upcoming events with the San Diego Blood Bank as well as other local drives. Please consult with health historian at the time of donation on your particular situation.