While donating blood is always important, the horrific 2016 Orlando attack has brought donation awareness to an all-time high. Blood donors are always needed, as hospitals use blood daily to treat all kinds of patients, not just in response to tragic events - so, regardless of the timing, you should know your facts and where to start as far as doing your part to contribute.
The first and most important step when donating blood is knowing whether or not you're eligible to do so. Coincidentally, one of the most common questions associated with this is whether you're able to donate if you have tattoos. This may seem silly to some, but it's an extremely valid question- after all, you're putting a needle into your skin like a bajillion times- and the answer is: It depends.
For the most part, having tattoos does not affect your eligibility to donate blood. 9 times out of 10, this will not be an issue. However, there are some exceptions. Sometimes, it's necessary to wait a year after receiving a tattoo before you're able to safely donate- and this depends entirely on whether or not you received your tattoo in a state-regulated tattoo facility.
There is no need to feel bad for not being able to donate directly in the wake of a tragedy such as this weekend's in Orlando. Sure, we all want to help as quickly as possible in direct response to horrific events like the one our country has just experienced, but blood is ALWAYS NEEDED.
It's so unbelievably important to be educated and to spread awareness about blood donation- especially to your tattooed friends who may not think they're able to contribute. Chances are, they can- and every little bit helps. Spread the word.