Friday, 12 July 2013

How Tattoos & Piercings Affect your Ability to Donate Blood Plasma

Donating blood platelets or plasma has always been a noble pursuit to help those in need. In recent years, finding suitable donors has become increasingly more difficult, causing a drastic supply shortage. has been encouraging more people to come forward, but a lot of willing donors are being turned away.
Determining your Eligibility
One of the reasons for this is because of the increasing popularity of body art - if you've had a tattoo or piercing within the last year, you are not eligible to donate blood along with the following....
Feel unwell
Chesty cough/cold or an active cold sore?
Taking a course or completed a course in the past 7 days?
Dental work
Any visit to a dentist, any procedure or seen a hygienist in the past 7 days?
Have you got or had any heart conditions?
Within the past 2 weeks?
On hospital waiting list
Or currently undergoing medical tests?
Travelled outside the UK (including business) within the past 6 months?
Any new piercings or tattoos in the past 4 months?
  • Piercing Eligibility Guidelines
    "Acceptable as long as the instruments used were sterile, one time use. Wait 12 months if there is any question whether or not the instruments used were sterile and free of blood contamination. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis."
  • Tattoo Eligibility Guidelines
    "Wait 12 months after a tattoo if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis. So with tattoos you must wait 12 months after tattoo application before donating blood. You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian at the time of donation.
When you go to a blood bank to give plasma, they ask you a series of questions to determine if you are eligible to donate. Obviously, they don't want to risk accepting contaminated blood, so they will ask about your sexual history, current health status and other related questions, including whether or not you have gotten a tattoo or piercing within the last twelve months.
All blood that is donated is screened for diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis and other common blood-born ailments. However, it goes without saying that it is a waste of the blood bank's and the donor's time to harvest blood that is tainted and thus worthless. In order to avoid wasted time, they ask these questions to screen the potential donor. And although tattooing and piercing are much safer than some medical professionals like to indicate, there is still always a chance of getting and carrying a disease unknowingly. Especially Hepatitis, which has been the object of many heated arguments and stringent regulations.
If you should happen to contract a disease from a tattoo or piercing, it should show up in a screening after 12 months, which is the reason for the waiting period. Yes, maybe it's a little over-precautious, but would you want to be the one on the receiving end of dirty blood? If there is even a slight chance, it is better to be safe than sorry.
So, if body art and blood donation are both important to you, you have a very important decision to make. Sacrificing your own desires for the benefit of others is always commendable. If that is your wish, you might have to put the tattoo or piercing off for a while. On the other hand, it doesn't make you selfish to decide in favor of body art, as long as you don't forget that helping others will always provide you with even more satisfaction; and there are certainly other ways that you can be of assistance to those in need. So, if you can't give your blood, enjoy your art and reach out to someone with your money, time and your love instead.
For more information please visit and show your support.... or register at