Tatts no longer a barrier to blood donation under new rule change
Tattooed Aussies can now donate blood just a week after getting fresh ink, potentially contributing up to 10,000 extra donations each year.
People can make a plasma donation immediately after getting a tattoo but until today had to wait four months to donate blood.
The latest rule change, which comes into effect today, significantly reduces this wait time between getting a tattoo and donating blood from four months to just seven days.
The new rules apply only to tattoos received in licensed Australian tattoo parlours or cosmetic clinics. People who received tattoos in unlicensed or overseas premises will still need to wait four months before donating.
A study of tattooed donors conducted by Lifeblood in partnership with the Kirby Institute at UNSW found that those inked in Australian licensed tattoo parlours or cosmetic clinics are safe to donate.
With one in four Aussies now inked and the trend for tattoos showing no sign of abating, Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Experience Cath Stone said the change will provide a boost to blood donations.
“We’re thrilled that from today we can welcome thousands of eligible tattooed donors who would previously have had to wait four months to donate blood,” Ms Stone said.
“You can now donate blood just seven days after a new tattoo, or you can donate plasma straightaway, without any wait period at all.
“Close to 10,000 donors report one or more tattoos a year to Lifeblood, so this rule change could result in around 10,000 extra blood donations a year.”
After a Lifeblood survey found more than 15% of Australians believe having a tattoo means you can’t donate at all, Ms Stone said the change provided an opportunity for community education.
“People with tattoos are perfect donors because we know they’re not afraid of needles - one of the biggest barriers for new donors donating blood or plasma for the first time.
“We want to make sure everyone knows being inked doesn’t disqualify them from donating.
“We’re fortunate to have one of the safest blood supplies in the world, and we’re continuing to focus on making it easier for Australians to donate, while ensuring our blood supply remains safe for patients.”