Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Can I donate Blood Plasma With Tattoos or Piercings?
Q: Can I donate plasma with a new tattoo? I visited a plasma center, and they said there's a 6 month deferral. Is this true, or just tattoo discrimination?
A: You might be confusing plasma donation with blood donation, which has a deferral period of 6 months (in Canada at least) after getting a new tattoo. Some plasma centers have a deferral period of twelve months for a person with tattoos. This is to prevent plasma recipients from getting hepatitis. It could cost someone their life.
You could always call a donation center and ask them. Contact the plasma center nearest to you for state-specific eligibility guidelines for donors.
FDA Guidelines: "Current FDA guidelines state that tattooed donors can give plasma as soon as the inked area has healed IF the they reside in a state with applied inspections and licenses for such facilities AND a sterile needle and ink were used. Individual plasma centers are allowed to implement more strict guidelines than the FDA, so please contact your local donor facility for specific guidelines."
Regulated Vs. Unregulated Tattoo Parlor States
Currently just over half of states regulate tattoo parlors, currently 32 states. Incidentally, you must wait for a twelve month period to give blood ONLY in the unregulated states. If you're in a state that does have an inspection and licensing for tattoo parlors, the donor is eligible again as soon as the tattoo site heals, usually within 30 days. Should you have gotten your tattoo last week, you are not allowed to give blood or plasma.
Can I Donate Plasma with Piercings?
I, personally, don't have much experience with piercings. After doing a little research, I found this: "If performed with a needle, in most centers, there's a 1 year waiting period. You may donate immediately without waiting period after getting a body piercing, if you can prove a sterile needle was used."
So I would assume it is safe to give blood,and then get your ears pierced. But getting a piercing before you donate might disqualify you from being a donor at some centers.
Other Requirements for Donating Plasma
You have to be 17 to give blood products in Canada, and 18 in the US. Some states allow you to donate at 16 with parental consent. How much plasma you may donate depends on your weight, since you must weigh at least 110lbs to donate plasma.
Furthermore, every time you donate plasma, you will be tested for blood pressure and your iron levels. All donors need to maintain a hematocrit (blood iron level) of at least 13, and blood pressure within the normal range for your age and height/weight. First time donors get paid more, and some centers have a generous referral program.
You usually cannot give blood within 12 months of visiting a foreign country regardless of if you are tattooed or not. If you visit any of these areas after a tattoo is applied, you have to wait one year from the date of leaving the high risk area.
You can't donate within a year of getting the birth control shot.
As for smoking, you shouldn't smoke within 24 hours of donating plasma.
How Often Can I Donate Blood Plasma?
Lastly, plasma donating times can vary. The number of times you may donate is also restricted, the policy at most centers is twice a week. You can donate plasma twice a week, but no more than 4 times in a 14 day period, with one day of rest in between. Inquire at your local plasma center what their rules are on this.
Posted by Author at 10:46 AM