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Can You Donate Blood if You Have a Tattoo?

Sara Martinez
February 27, 2024

Millions of Americans have one or more tattoos and the art form continues to grow in popularity. Did you know that tattoos have been around for thousands of years? The first known tattoo was discovered on an iceman found near the Italian-Austrian border that was carbon-dated nearly 5,300 years back!

Fast forward to the 21st century where popular tattoo designs include hearts, quotes, animals, symbols… even blood types!

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Tattoo of an O- OneBlood blood donation

A common question we hear from potential blood donors is "Can I donate blood if I have a tattoo?" The short answer is yes! People with tattoos can donate blood. In fact, many OneBlood donors donate blood with tattoos. There are just certain requirements to keep in mind.

OneBlood donor with tattoos donating blood on a Big Red Bus showing off his OneBlood swag bag
OneBlood donor with tattoos donating blood on a Big Red Bus

Make a permanent mark that’s more than skin-deep! Schedule your next appointment to donate blood today and start saving lives.

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Donate Blood?

In the state of Florida, you can donate blood after getting a tattoo as soon as the tattoo heals and as long as it was received from a licensed tattoo facility.

However, you can’t donate blood after getting a tattoo if it was received from a non-regulated or an unlicensed establishment. In this case, you must wait a 3-month deferral period before you can donate again.

Keep in mind that these requirements can change by state, so be sure to check with your local blood center for their regulations.

Fun Facts About Tattoos

  • Nearly 145 million Americans have tattoos
  • About 47% of Millennials (those born between 1981 - 1994) have one or more tattoos
  • The oldest continuously operating tattoo shop in the U.S. is Bert Grimm's Tattoo (now called Outer Limits) located in Long Beach, CA
  • It's ten times more expensive to have a tattoo removed than to get one
  • National Tattoo Day happens on July 17th each year 

Tattoo or non-tattooed friends who are ready to donate can find a Big Red Bus or Donor Center near them. Make your mark and roll up your sleeve to help keep a ready blood supply for your community!

Sara Martinez, OneBlood Digital Marketing Specialist

Sara Martinez

Sara Martinez is a Digital Marketing Specialist at OneBlood. From creating strategic online campaigns to writing engaging stories, she is passionate about raising awareness to inspire others and helping make a difference in our community. #ShareYourPower

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