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Can You Donate Blood If You Have Tattoos?

Heather Georgoudiou July 13, 2021

Millions of Americans have one or more tattoos and the art form continues to grow in popularity. An amazing fact is 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 5,200 years back. Fast forward to the 21st-century where popular tattoo designs include hearts, birds, wildlife, symbols, and skulls.

A common question among potential blood donors is: "Can I donate blood if I have a tattoo?" and the answer is yes, but there are certain requirements. alt text

Blood Donation and Tattoos 

In the state of Florida, a person can donate blood as soon as their tattoo heals as long as they received that tattoo from a licensed tattoo facility. If they did not receive their tattoo at a licensed facility, a 12-month deferral rule still applies. These requirements can change by state, so be sure to check with your local blood center for their regulations. 

Fun Tattoo Facts

  • Nearly 145 million Americans have tattoos 
  • About 47% of Millennials (those born between 1981 - 1994) have one or more tattoos
  • The oldest tattoo shop in the US is Bert Grimm's Tattoo located in Long Beach, California  (now called Outer Limits)
  • 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 here. Blood donations often drop during the summer, so we invite you to be a summer lifesaver and help keep a ready blood supply for your community. 

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Heather Georgoudiou

Heather Georgoudiou is OneBlood’s Digital Marketing Manager. She is a social media strategist and content creator with a passion for saving lives through the power of digital communications. 

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