Blood donation rules change; Even tattooed can give

8:23 PM, Aug 27, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - When it comes to donating blood there are many excuses, but some of your excuses won't work any more, including getting a tattoo. Now instead of having to wait one year after getting inked you only have to wait two weeks.

A new law in Michigan has shortened the waiting period as long has you have the proper documentation from a licensed tattoo parlor like Mos Eisleys in Grand Rapids.

"What I personally do is make a copy of the release form-- I take a copy of the artwork they had done so we can match it up with what was written here, and write down a copy of our license number, that way they know the tattoo has been done in a safe and licensed facility in Grand Rapids," says Jammi Beth.

Another common myth: If you've had cancer you can't give. But Jim Childress of MI Blood says, "there are very few medications that will get you deferred." Chemotherapy isn't one of them. A year after your cancer treatment is completed, you are eligible to give blood.

In fact the only medications that will prevent you from giving blood are for psoriasis or an enlarged prostate.

And what about traveling out of the country?

"The most common example of that is often in the tropical areas where malaria is a possibility you're going to be deferred for a year," says Childress, but only for a year.

And if you try to give but your iron levels are too low?

"We recommend people wait a week or two if they've been deferred." Childress adds that's just enough time to add some iron rich foods into your diet to raise those iron levels.

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