The American Red Cross Great Lakes Region will soon allow people who have had tattoos in the last 12 months to donate blood. The Red Cross uses the American Association of Blood Banking (AABB) standards on whether or not to defer persons who received a tattoo in the previous 12 months. Potential donors who have received a tattoo in a facility that uses sterile needles and single-use ink will soon be approved in Michigan.

During the pre-donation screening process, donors will be asked questions as to when and where they had a tattoo. With the popularity of tattoos, the pool of potential blood donors was drastically reduced under the old regulations. The Red Cross will implement the new standards beginning in late March. To find out more about the new regulations and how you can save lives by becoming a blood donor, visit www.redcrossblood.org