AABB PulsePoints, American Association of Blood Banks No. 528 - August 30, 2002
According to a press release issued by the Rhode Island Blood Center on August 29, 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the center's request to allow it to accept donors who have had a tattoo in a licensed tattoo establishment within the last 12 months. The press release states that individuals who have had tattoos at a licensed tattoo establishment by a licensed practitioner can be accepted as donors effective Sept. 1, 2002. The American Association of Blood Banks' (AABB) Blood Banks and Transfusion Services Standards Program Unit (BBTS SPU) has approved the center's request for variance from the requirement for donor deferral of individuals who received tattoos within the last 12 months (Reference Standard 5.4.1.). The request stipulated that the parlors be licensed in a state with requirements that are as stringent as Rhode Island's and that tattoos be applied under sterile conditions. The center's request listed those states that have regulations for the licensure of tattoo parlors that are deemed to be as stringent as Rhode Island's. The center requested permission to accept donors who have received tattoos from licensed parlors in those states. The variance was granted by AABB under the condition that the donor's tattoo is applied under these sterile conditions.
Dr. Carolyn T. Young, the Rhode Island Blood Center's medical director, who sought the variance, said establishments and individuals are licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health, pursuant to a lengthy set of guidelines that assure safe and sterile procedures. There are approximately 130 tattoo establishments in Rhode Island, and by law all are regulated and licensed by the Department of Health. Besides Rhode Island tattoo establishments, the center will accept donations from individuals who are from states whose health departments also stringently regulate tattoo establishments and practitioners. For a copy of the Rhode Island Blood Center's August 29 press release, contact Kathleen Connolly at (401) 453-8555.
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