Blood Donation Eligibility Changing for Illinoisans with Tattoos

October 27, 2011

No More Waiting Period if Tattoo is from Licensed Facility


Illinois residents who recently received tattoos or are planning them in the future may no longer have to wait before donating blood with the American Red Cross.  Effective immediately, those who receive a tattoo from a licensed tattoo facility in Illinois will no longer face a waiting period restriction before being eligible to give blood at a Red Cross blood drive or donation center.  Previously, anyone receiving a tattoo from an Illinois tattoo facility had to wait 12 months from the date of receiving the tattoo before they could donate with the Red Cross.  The abolishment of the waiting period in Illinois follows similar steps already taken in Missouri and Kansas.

The change to the policy on tattoos in Illinois coincides with the launch of what the Red Cross calls the Biomedical Architecture program – or BioArch – in the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.  BioArch is a three-phase program intended to modernize Biomedical Services and will help the Red Cross continue to carry out its mission of providing blood and blood products of the highest possible quality.  The first phase launched in late September and includes new equipment designed to enhance reliability and functionality at blood drives.  The second phase should launch within the next year.

Anyone with further questions regarding blood donor eligibility can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.



How to Donate Blood:

Call 1-800-RED CROSS or log on to for more information or to schedule a blood donation appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit to learn more.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


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