Aikaj Jindal, Sangeetha Mohan, Ranjeet Singh Mashon



Getting inked or tattooed is a recent trend in the youth of India. Tattooing is done in India both in professional and non-professional setup using both manual and electronic machines. These young tattooed individuals form part of the blood donor pool. This study was done to detect any difference among tattooed and non-tattooed blood donors regarding their TTI status and to find any relation between sizes, location, and source of tattoo with respect to the TTI status.


70 tattooed blood donors presenting in Department of Transfusion Medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana who fulfilled the criteria for blood donation were compared for TTI with 70 non tattooed individuals matched for age, gender using Enhanced Chemiluminescence (VITROS ECiQ, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics) and ID NAT (Procleix Ultrio Plus, Hemogenomics) from 1st January, 2016 to 15th April, 2016..  The tattooed group was analysed with respect to TTI reactivity and the following variables; size of tattoo, location of tattoo, made by professional or non-professional tattoo artist, usage of disposable new needle or new dye, using a structured questionnaire.


Amongst 70 pairs of age, gender and place of donation matched healthy blood donors, 17.1 % (12) of tattooed individuals were positive for TTI as compared to the 4.2% (3) of non-tattooed individuals. This difference was found to be statistically significant (p= 0.026) with an associated relative risk = 4.00 (95% CI= 1.179 to 13.566). Amongst the tattooed cohort, 7.2% (4) individuals who got the tattoo from a professional tattoo artist developed TTI, as compared to 53.3 % (8) individuals who went to non-professional tattoo artists. The difference was statistically highly significant (p=0.000). The nature of instrument showed a statistically significant difference (p= 0.002) with 12.3 % (8) individuals who got it made through electronic machine developing TTI as compared to 80% (4) who got it done using manual method. The relation between new and disposable needle along with new dye could not be studied as majority of tattooed donors could not recall accurately. The relation between size and location of tattoo demonstrated no significant relation with development of TTI.

Summary /Conclusions

Getting a tattoo showed a statistically significant relation with developing a TTI in an age, gender and place of donation matched cohort. Amongst the tattooed individuals, getting tattoo from a non-professional artist and using a manual method of tattooing demonstrated a statistically significant relation with developing TTI.  Further studies using a much larger sample size is needed to formulate a policy at a national level.


tattoo, youth of India, professional, blood donation

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