The Australian Red Cross has observed that a jump in the number of people getting tattoos in Australia has put a dent in the country’s number of blood donations.
Shaun Inguanzo, Head, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, said this on Tuesday in Sydney at the launching of the Australian component of the global campaign, called Missing Type, to increase blood donations.
He said that because of the increased risk of Hepatitis C infection, those who get a new tattoo must wait at least six months before they can donate blood.
The Australian Red Cross is one of 25 blood services from 21 countries calling for new donors, after seeing massive drops in recent years.
Inguanzo said that a rise in the popularity of tattoos has been identified as one of the main reasons for the decrease in blood donations.
“Other reasons include people not being aware of the need to donate blood, as well as having less free time.
“The number of donors in Australia has slipped from 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.3 million in 2015, a 27.6-per cent drop,’’ he said.
Inguanzo said that in the country there was a particular need for 100,000 new donors in 2016 to help service the growing need for plasma-based medicines that thousands of Australian patients depend on for quality of life.