By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Biomedical Services
July 17, 2020- In honor of National Tattoo Day today we’re debunking the myth that those with tattoos can’t give blood. On June 8, the American Red Cross implemented new changes to donor eligibility criteria that may make it even easier for those with tattoos to give!
In most states, including Ohio, there is no waiting period to give blood if your tattoo was applied in a state-regulated facility. The District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming do not regulate tattoo facilities. If you received a tattoo in one of these states, the waiting period to give has gone from 12 months to three months.
If you are an individual currently deferred with the Red Cross for a tattoo under the former policy, your donor record will be updated by the end of July to align with the new policy. If you would like to have your donor record updated prior to then, donors can contact the Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276 for more immediate action. Please be aware that deferrals cannot be removed onsite at our blood drives or donation centers.
The Red Cross currently has an urgent need for blood donors to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving blood products they need. Healthy, eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment in the coming weeks. To schedule a time to give, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance and recent local and state mandates. To learn more about donor eligibility, visit RedCrossBlood.org/eligibility.
Scared of needles? That is okay! You can help the Red Cross assist patients in need of lifesaving blood by becoming a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to learn more and to apply.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross volunteer