General Question

dgraphics103's avatar

Is it true that tatooed people cannot donate blood?

Asked by dgraphics103 (12points) August 1st, 2008

So.. My friend is visiting from Mx and we got into this discussion about her not being able to receive blood during a small surgery from her uncle because he was tatooed.. (they were the same blood type of course…) She says that that’s they way its always been… I can see how hospital would deny it if the blood got some infection from the tatooing needle. But how about a perfectly healthy tatooed individual?....

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31 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

Tattoos = AIDS.

Actually, I believe it’s something with the skin-permiating pigments. Perhaps it’s something to do with X amount of that making a blood sample “impure”. Perhaps even a small amount, of something even like drinking alcohol or aspirin, or even food in the blood stream could potentially carry a foreign element into the receiving party… nothing like a rejected blood transfusion, or infected blood being pumped into a dying body.

osullivanbr's avatar

You need to wait a year after getting the tattoo before you can donate blood again.
At least in Ireland anyway

tinyfaery's avatar

One year here in CA as well.

poofandmook's avatar

a year in Jersey… but when I donated on 9/12/01, they let me do it anyway after I assured them it was fully healed and healthy.

Adina1968's avatar

@Lovelocke you are not suggesting that people with tattoos are all aids carriers are you?

Lovelocke's avatar

@Adina: Don’t feel bad. A lot of people read the joke portion of my post and skip right down to complaining, rather than reading the whole way through.

poofandmook's avatar

@Lovelocke: still… I have lots of tattoos and no AIDS. That’s definitely not funny. Especially to those of us who know people who have suffered through it :(

Randy's avatar

Yeah man. Tattoos don’t = AIDS. Like most have said, after a certain amount of time, it’s not a problem as long as the donor doesn’t have any diseases.

Lovelocke's avatar

You know, if people were afraid of talking about real life topics online because there was a chance someone, somewhere may know someone who had troubles in their life, nobody would say anything at all.

Everyone knows someone with something horrendous happening in their lives, but why is it everyone wants to take credit/share in the sympathy with the people actually dealing with it? That’s why people charge money for a wheelchair… nobody REALLY cares, they just want to get their feet tan getting a foot in under the spotlight.

Drop it, man… off-color comment or not, you’re taking something plainly not serious… seriously.

AstroChuck's avatar

I think the worry is more along the lines of hepatitis rather than HIV/AIDS.

poofandmook's avatar

@lovelocke: If the person who actually has it is close enough, not just someone-who-knows-someone-who-knows-someone-etc. then it’s not taking credit for or sharing in the sympathy, it’s legitimately upsetting.

Randy's avatar

I understand it was a joke but I don’t want people looking at me and immediately saying “damn, he must have AIDS”. I wasn’t trying to provoke. I just wanted to throw in my two cents, just as you did.

poofandmook's avatar

I second Randy.

Lovelocke's avatar

I like Randy’s answer better than yours, Poof. He appears to have caught the satire int he statement and didn’t attempt to lay a guilt trip on me or anyone else, and he didn’t imply he would’ve liked to see a retraction.

Randy took it in stride… as I would’ve expected anyone to. This is just a website, I’m not running for President or anything, so I don’t want to be under your magnifying lens anymore.

Thanks in advance :)

poofandmook's avatar

You’re not under my magnifying lens.. don’t flatter yourself. And I’m not stupid enough to think you could actually feel guilty about anything.

buster's avatar

I used to sell plasma. They screen everyone and ask you if you’ve been to a whole list of countries in africa and asia, have had gay sex since 1978, been in prison, or used needles. If you had a tattoo you had to prove it was at least a year old. They then did a physical and even checked between my toes for track marks. I dont know about donating but they will buy your plasma if you meet that criteria.

jholler's avatar

my wife is in blood collections at the red cross, so here’s what I know: usedto be a year wait after a tattoo die to concerns of mainly hepatitis, but really any blood-borne pathogen. I know that Arkansas now allows you to give 56 days after receiving a tat as long as it was done on a state-licensed tattoo parlor.

benseven's avatar

Seems to be a bunch of folk in here who need to bear in mind this is a public forum and people will, much like in society at large, make jokes which could cause offense.
While perhaps in bad taste, I can’t help but feel like the main issue at hand is your sensitivity to such matters, rather than the actual jokes themselves – people use humour to deal with all kinds of serious or taboo issues, and you need to put on that extra layer of laugh it off when it comes to the internet and people can speak without fear of reprocussions, and as such are frequently more crude or shocking than in ‘real life’...

I’m not questioning that to have a loved one suffer through something as terrible as AIDS is anything less than tremendously hard, but if you take things from strangers on the internet too personally it ends up with a lot of these awkard, ongoing threads. Just my two cents.

Sorry to take it off topic again, but I felt moved to… type.

poofandmook's avatar

@benseven: Thanks, but no thanks. I wasn’t being confrontational with him, for once. I’m sure he understood it, so it’s fine.

osullivanbr's avatar

I agree with poofandmook here. I do understand what you’re saying seven, but in fairness, there’s joking to handle a bad situation and there’s making hurtful jokes for no reason. There was no cause for it here in my opinion. I’ve never known anyone who’s had AIDs, and I took offense to it.

poofandmook's avatar

My point is, Lovelocke and I have a mutual understanding: When he says something jerk-ish, I’ll call him on it. But I also agree with most of what he says when he’s being a well-behaved, upstanding citizen of the community. So it all comes out in the wash.

benseven's avatar

I guess my motivation came from personal experience really, where putting a thicker layer on and choosing not to engage with ignorance being shown has kept me out of a lot of fights, both on the internet and physical. If you’d rather waste your time calling people out, that’s your call to make.

poofandmook's avatar

@benseven: Truthfully, I’m bored at work. My time is being wasted already. Might as well add some spice to it.

Randy's avatar


poofandmook's avatar

@Randy: to what?

benseven's avatar

Haha well provided it’s paid time you’re wasting, waste away!

Randy's avatar

@poof- Being bored at work so you waste time and spice it up. The story of my life it seems. =)

skfinkel's avatar

While slightly off topic, I haven’t been able to give blood because I lived in England from 1984–85 and they are worried about Mad Cow Disease. Still.

Interestingly enough, had I lived there less than six months, I would be able to give blood. Logic in that is lost on me.

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