Tapping into a subculture has never been so literal! On February 2nd, the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, and Helsinki tattoo studio Legacy Tattoo, came together to collaborate on an exciting event that promised to catch some glances. The event's goals were double: not only were they hoping to spark some renewed interest in blood donations, but they were also hoping to educate on the issue of tattooed persons being illegitimate donors.
The blood type tattoo campaign was a great way to connect with the new generation of donors in a way that genuinely spoke to them.
While we've seen a number of different events promoting blood donations, the Blood Tattoo idea is something quite unique, and actually incredibly necessary. For most people with inked skin, the myth persists that we are forever banned from donating. But this isn't exactly the truth! "In fact, there is only a four-month quarantine following a tattoo – only a month longer than the minimum donation cycle for women." Meaning that after you get some new ink, you only need to wait four months before you can donate just like everyone else. It's a genius way, not only to educate others, but to spark a global media sensation.
“For us, the younger audience, especially young men, are a particularly difficult demographic to reach. The blood type tattoo campaign was a great way to connect with the new generation of donors in a way that genuinely spoke to them”, continues Lind. And the tattoo artists at Legacy Tattoo couldn't agree more, “We saw this as an important event and message that we could stand behind. The stigmas around tattoos are luckily becoming old news and naturally we understand the importance that blood donation pays in the lives of hundreds of people every day”, says resident artist Sailor Andyaka Anton Holmberg.
The Blood Tattoos or, more accurately, blood type tattoos have attracted a lot of awareness to a cause that is always in need of attention. Donating, no matter what country you happen to be in, is of the utmost importance to secure the demands of patients in hospitals around the globe. Tons of organizations are scrambling to cover those in dire need. NHS Blood and Transplant, based in the UK, stated in February that 4,900 new donors were needed, specifically however, "we urgently need new blood donors with O negative, A negative, and B negative as these are the priority blood types."
And although the number of donors needed sounds daunting, the requirements are similar for almost every single organization around the world, including the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service. “We need 800 donors on a daily basis to ensure that there is enough blood for those in need. To raise awareness towards blood donation and dismantle old taboos we decided to hold an event that allowed blood donors to be marked for life.”, says Anne Lind, Marketing Manager at the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.
If you've ever wondered what your blood will be used for, statistics from blood.co.uk says, "67% [of donated blood] was used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders. 27% was used in surgery, including cardiac surgery and emergency surgery. 6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth."
It's incredible to think that you can freely give the gift of life, tattooed or not, and make all the difference in a strangers life. And if you want one of these awesome blood tattoos for yourself, good news. The tattoo flash that the tattooists of Legacy came up with are now free to use across all tattoo parlors in Finland interested in supporting the cause as well! We're hoping, at some point, that other organizations will catch on to this wonderful idea...#bloodtattoo. Told you it's not as scary as it sounds! Unless you're terrified of needles...