Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Fix the System!

November 10th, 2010 by

I just noticed something in the news today and it irked me and so I’m going to talk about it for a little bit here.  I know, I know, you’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez, Mike, did I really just cruise over to the good ol’ Tattoo Blog to read a rant?  Well, in answer to your question dear reader, I know that you cruised over to the Tattoo Blog because you enjoy the unparalleled quality and witty insights that it typically provides its readership.  That being said, yes, today you are going to read a rant.  Why?  Well because I think it’s an important enough topic to merit a rant.

Okay.  So I found this article at, which is a news website based out of New Zealand.  The article talks about the “unfortunate” turning away of potential blood donors and how blood donations are currently down in New Zealand.  Why are potential donors being turned away?  Well, it’s that old chestnut once again: they have tattoos.  I’ve written about this sort of thing many times in the past.  It’s nothing new to hear that people are being turned away from donating blood because they have been tattooed within the last six months.  The reason it’s all a little bit different this time and the reason that it irks me so much is because New Zealand is one of the most tattooed countries on earth.  So stuff like this gets me thinking…

‘The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) knocked back 1714 potential donors between July 2009 and June 2010 because they had been inked within six months of wanting to give blood.

That was up from 1430 the previous year and 894 the year before.

According to the NZBS, a single blood donation can help save up to three lives. But marketing manager Paul Hayes said the service was cautious about recently tattooed donors because of concerns the industry didn’t have set standards which are actively monitored.

“They [tattooists] might be using new needles but dipping them in the same ink pots… we just don’t know,” said Hayes. The biggest risk was the transfusion of Hepatitis B, he said.’

Am I crazy or does it seem more than a little idiotic that one of the most tattooed nations on earth doesn’t have a better system of tattoo regulations set up??  If the NZBS knows that it is losing out on donors and if blood is in need and if they are downright confused about the state of the sanitary conditions at tattoo studios, then why the hell doesn’t the government step in and create a better monitoring system of the tattoo studios so that next year all 1714 potential donors from this year – and who knows how many more next year – can donate their blood if they so desire?  I’m sick of fingers being pointed at tattooists in this manner.  The truth of the matter is that organisations like NZBS have no clue what’s going on at any of these tattoo studios.  They could be and most likely are, completely sanitary.  So if they really want to know for certain perhaps its better to put a little pressure on the governing bodies rather than just leaving us with Well, we really would like to accept more blood donations, but we’ve got all these possibly diseased tattooed people wanting to donate and that just can’t be done.

I don’t get it…

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