Info Request: IV sites and Tatoo's


I ran through your forum and the INS web site for info IV Therapy looking for information on contraindications, if any, on starting IV's over tatoo's.

I thought somewhere in my past the school of thought was to never start IV's over tatoo sites but the reason escapes me. I couldn't find a reference and was wondering if you all could give me some help.



Specializes in Med-Surg.

Well, for one thing it could damage the tattoo! Also could make it more difficult to assess the site depending on the extent/color of the tattoo. Also the age of the tattoo could be relevant--a new scabby one would surely not be an ideal location. I haven't heard of any absolute contraindication to starting an IV in a tattoo but then I am a fairly new nurse.


62 Posts

We learned in school not to start an IV on a tatoo because it is considered a scar.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,979 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I've never started an IV in an area covered by a tattoo because I can't SEE anything! Now watch: next week I'll have to start one on some guy whose entire body is covered with the things....... :uhoh3:

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