The tattooed people of Minnesota got some good news this past week. For years it’s been a state requirement to wait 12 months before you’re able to give blood, but that regulation is now a thing of the past.
For many people in many states, they cannot give blood if they have had a tattoo in the past year. “Effective April 16th, that is no longer in effect,” Red Cross Biomedical Services Coordinator Joellen Barak explains.
Thanks to a new FDA regulation, tattoo lovers won’t have to choose between one or the other.
“If you’ve received a tattoo in the last 12 months there is no longer any deferral to give blood. You can give blood the same day if you want to,” Barak says.
The rule was originally written to protect blood banks from getting contaminated blood from tattoo shops that use dirty needles. But just last year, Minnesota passed a law requiring tattoo shops to be licensed.
“And now that it is regulated by the state, that FDA requirement is met. So there is no longer that deferral,” says Barak.
It’s a small change, but one that could make a major difference for organizations like the Red Cross. Experts expect to see over 10,000 new donors this year.
More states should adopt changes in rules and regulations so more people can donate and help people in need!