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Tattoo Shops Get Requests for Medical Ink

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) -Some people have tattoos they want hidden, but medical tattoos are created to be seen.  Tattoo shops like Off the Map Tattoo in Easthampton are getting requests for people who want a visible sign of a medical condition like diabetes or allergies in case of an emergency.

“I thought it was a really great idea,” said Max Rothert, a tattoo artist.  “As far as having to wear a piece of jewelry, that could come off, it really is a better idea.”

One person we spoke with, Patty said she ditched the legal diabetes identification bracelet because it would often fall off or break.  She wanted something that would last.

“I think people just don’t think of it but I think if people were given the choice, we’d have a larger influx of them for sure,” said Mary Bowen, the shop manager for Off the Map Tattoo.

In the past, medical tattoos have been used at hospitals to indicate blood type and for certain surgeries, but the trend might be coming back for other purposes.

“It’s not something you’d actually search for,” said Slave Vervetsky, an EMT for National Ambulance.  “If you came across it, just put an alert in the back of your head that maybe there’s something else going on.  Maybe they have an allergy or diabetes.”

Although these tattoos could be very helpful, because they’re not regulated, emergency responders can not act simply on the basis of having a tattoo and no official documents or certified medical bracelets.


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