Donors could chose one of six pre-drawn designs for each blood type, hundreds of people lined up outside the Finnish tattoo shop before the event. (Photo Fanny Haga)

Free blood type tattoo with donation draws crowds in Finland

One in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do

What would you do for a free tattoo?

The Finnish Red Cross launched a campaign this past February offering free blood type tattoos to highlight the misconceptions surrounding ink and blood and encourage a new generation of donors. In conjunction with a local tattoo shop, hundreds of people lined up hours before the event, to get one of six pre-drawn designs for each blood type tattooed for free.

David Patterson, director of donor relations for Canadian Blood Services, says it’s a neat idea and with the close network of blood operators around the world, he’s sure they’ll have a look at it.

RELATED: Saanich Police find kids playing darts with used syringes

“Generally we do a good job of working with our partner organizations from around the world to find new and interesting ways to [promote giving blood],” says Patterson, highlighting a text message service implemented a couple years ago that informs donors of the status of blood and when their donation has been used.

In Canada, donors need to wait only 90 days after getting a tattoo before being able to give blood — cutting the deferral in half from the previous year which used to be six months.

“[Plus] we know people who get tattoos aren’t afraid of needles so that’s a really good thing from our perspective,” added Patterson.

RELATED: Animal blood shortage in B.C. prompts Victoria woman to make interesting trade

Currently in Canada one in two people is eligible and able to donate blood, but only one in 60 people actually do. Patterson says the need for blood is always there, especially O negative — the universal donor.

“If I’m driving home today and I get in an accident and they don’t have time to take my blood, they can safely give me O negative,” he says.

Women wanting to donate blood must wait 84 days in between appointments and men must wait 56 days before donating again – and with spring break upon us, what better time to donate?

“Spring break is a time when many people take time off to be with friends and family and as such, we often have empty beds around,” says Patterson. “If folks have time off this week — we’d love if they take a moment to [donate].”

For more information on donating blood in Victoria visit or call 1-888-2-DONATE (366283).

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Peninsula firefighters spend the summer in intensive training

No rest for personnel as they improve high tower, role-plays and marina fire fighting skills

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Buffy the audience slayer: St. Marie coming to Sidney

Powerful live shows a big part of veteran Canadian folk star’s success; she’s here Sept. 26-27

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read