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?

Answer: 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.


  1. For the yearly physical do they do the same thing as the 1st physical when you 1st donate

  2. For the yearly physical do they do the same thing as the 1st physical when you 1st donate

  3. The place I went to was shady AF. It's mainly catered to African Americans. I went with my no job lazy stay at home bf. I decided why not and try to donate as well. I was denied because my state ID says has my first and last name hyphenated with another last name. I provided my social security card and a proof of address. But was denied and said OK that's fine. Why would I apply for another social security card the time and $$ it would take wouldn't be worth it. Dislike. This is for crackheads people on social specify checks. Young lazy people to lazy to get a job. Red flags everywhere

    1. Social security cards are free. It doesn't take much time to receive the new card either. You just sound real lazy with this comment.

    2. ^ This. Geesh "Unknown".

    3. ^ This. Geesh "Unknown".

    4. Really.You can't even spell your own language. You have the nerve to decide who crackheads are. If so you ended up in the same location with them.Idiot.For money. Crackhead.

    5. Just wanted you to know, it won't be a waste of time for you to get what you need to donate. I recieve weekly IV infusions of a drug made with plasma for a genetic defect. I'd be grateful as would so many others.

    6. You're too lazy to correct your id yet the people donating to save lives are the no good lazy ones. Sounds perfectly legit.... Not

  4. Stupid as dude now i see why he unknown

  5. In regards to piercings I learned that they will turn you away for plasma donation if you have any piercings below the waist line no matter the time after it was done or proof of sterilization. I was allowed to donate whole blood at a blood drive though..funny..but hey that's the way it goes I guess.
    N-Southern Oregon

  6. I donated hete several times before.. I got a new tatoo that they didnt have on documents from my first vist.. So they tell me im not able to donate there ever again.. But by this time the new tatoo was years old.. Thats BS...


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