"In the past a new tattoo meant an automatic 12 month deferral," said Tim Hess, SCBB director of marketing. "Now, depending on where the donor got the tattoo, it may not be a problem."
In 2007, SCBB has averaged more than 50 donors deferrals per month because the donor had recently received a tattoo, a total nearing 600 through November.
"Those deferred donors could have made a positive impact on thousands of lives across Siouxland," said Hess. "Now they'll have a chance to step up and be a hero."
Donors who received their tattoos in an inspected and licensed facility in Iowa or South Dakota will be allowed to donate blood. These facilities use single-use ink and a sterile needle. Among South Dakota and Iowa, other qualifying states include Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon and Texas.
Donors who receive tattoos in a non-regulated facility, or in a state not on the list, including Nebraska, will have to wait 12 months from the date they received their tattoo before they are allowed to donate blood.
The Siouxland Community Blood Bank was founded in 1967 and is the sole provider of blood and blood products to 36 Siouxland area hospitals.