Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Can I donate Blood Plasma With Tattoos or Piercings?

Q: Can I donate plasma with a new tattoo? I visited a plasma center, and they said there's a 6 month deferral. Is this true, or just tattoo discrimination?

A: Perhaps you were thinking of donating blood, which you cannot do for six months (in Canada that's the rule anyways) after getting a tattoo. You have to wait a year before you can donate plasma. There is a deferral of twelve months for a person with tattoo. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis. It could cost someone their life.

You could always call a donation center and ask them. Contact your local blood collection facility for specific eligibility guidelines in your state.

FDA Guidelines: "Current FDA guidelines allow potential volunteer blood donors with a tattoo to give blood as soon as the tattoo site has healed IF the state where the tattoo was applied inspects and licenses such facilities AND sterile technique with single use needles and ink were used. Each blood collection facility is allowed to implement guidelines more strict than the FDA, so please contact your local facility for specific eligibility guidelines."

Learn more about hepatitis and blood plasma donation. You can visit our Eligibility Calculator or call for additional criteria.

Regulated Vs. Unregulated Tattoo Parlor States

 Only certain US States regulate tattoo parlours, currently 32 states.  Incidentally, there is a twelve month wait period to give blood ONLY in unregulated states. If the state does inspect and license tattoo parlors, the donor can and is eligible as soon as the tattoo site heals, usually within 1-2 weeks. Should you have you tattoo last week, you are not allowed to give blood.

According to the red cross website: "Wait 12 months after a tattoo if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities"

Can I Donate With a Tattoo Done at Home?

 Most places won't allow you to donate if you have had "homemade" tattoos or ones that were not done professionally because of the risk of disease. It takes 6 months for an HIV test to be definitive, so you can donate after 6 months, and they do the screening, the HIV would show up.

Either way if you donate, they still run your blood through some other cleaning processes just to double check that it's clean. 

Can I Give a Medical Blood Sample After Getting a Tattoo?

Yes, you can give a blood sample after getting a tattoo, with no waiting period.

Can I Donate Plasma with Piercings?

 I'm not sure about the piercings though. If performed with a needle, you must wait 1 year after piercing. You may donate immediately without waiting period after getting a body piercing, if you can prove a sterile needle was used. And yes it is safe to give blood,and then get your ears pierced. Otherwise, you must wait one year after receiving a tattoo or body piercing. Getting it before you donate might eliminate you from being a donor at some places.

 You can give blood four months after getting a tattoo or piercing in some states, so it stands to reason that you can also donate an organ.

Other Requirements for Donating Plasma

You have to be 17 to give blood in Canada. Some states allow you to give blood at 16 with parental consent. The amount of plasma you may donate is determined by your weight, and you also have to be at least 110lbs to donate.

Furthermore, they will test your blood pressure every time you donate and your iron level. You must have a hematocrit (blood iron level) of 13, and blood pressure within the normal range for your age and height/weight. In addition you typically get paid more the very first time you donate and some places pay you if you refer a friend.

 You usually cannot give blood withing 12 months of visiting a foreign country regardless of if you are tattooed or not.  If you visit any of these areas and will be there after the tattoo is applied, it would be one year from the date you left the malaria risk area.

You can't donate within a year of getting the birth control shot.

As for smoking, it's strongly discouraged to smoke before donating blood.

 Please contact your local blood collection facility for specific donor requirements. They would likely be the most knowledgeable about such things.

How Often Can I Donate Blood Plasma?

 You can give blood every 56 days. Lastly, plasma donating, times can vary. You are also limited to how many times you may donate, the policy here is twice a week. You can donate plasma twice a week, but no more than 4 times in a 14 day period, with one day of rest in between. Call around some local places and ask what their rule about this is.

Remember: wait 12 months after a tattoo if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities. Depending on who the plasma donation is to, you can't donate for up to a year, but after 8 years you're totally fine.

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