As much of the world begins to try to move to some form of social and economic normalcy, shops/studios/salons will be opening soon. Of the many of things to consider, having all of your necessary tools, updated procedures and paperwork in place will help make the transition back more seamless. One of the documents that you may want to consider updating is your consent forms.

When we say revisit your consent forms, what we mean is making sure that you are properly arming yourself with as much documentation needed in the event of a complication in the body art procedure you have performed. We recommend utilizing resources from the NEHA body model art code for standards in which you should model your consent forms after. That being said, you can break it down into the brass tacks. Here is the basic checklist of how you should approach your consent form. We do recommend you pass this by your own attorney, to see if it covers you. Also ask your insurance adjusters, and confirming with your local health department official is needed.

Don’t know who NEHA is? Check them out here. Now let’s talk about what you need to have on your consent/release forms.

Customer Release

You must evaluate your client by documenting the following information:

  • Basic statistic information needed to be recorded: (Client information)
    • Name As It Appears on Government ID
    • Signature
    • Birthdate
    • Permanent address
    • Phone Number
    • Copy of State or Federal-Issued Photo ID with Birthdate (i.e. driver’s license, state ID, passport, immigration card, etc.).
  • Artist signature
  • Are you 18 years or older?
  • Have you eaten within the last 4 hours?
  • Are you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you ingested anticoagulants, anti-platelet drugs, or NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) in the last 24 hours?
  • Have you ingested any medication that can inhibit the ability to heal a skin wound?
  • Do you have any allergies or adverse reactions to dyes, pigments, latex, iodine, or other such products?
  • Do you have hemophilia, epilepsy, a history of seizure, fainting, narcolepsy, or other conditions that could interfere with the body art procedure?
  • Do you have a history of skin diseases that might inhibit the healing of the body art procedure?
  • Do you have any communicable diseases (i.e., hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HIV, or any other disease that could be transferred to another person during the procedure)?

Risk notification

Make sure you clearly outline risks and complications with body art procedures.

Body art can cause:

  • Swelling, Bruising, Discomfort, Bleeding and Pain
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Irreversible Damages to the Human Body.
  • Risk of infection

Ask questions and have them notify you of health concerns that may make their tattoo heal slower or that could add additional complications with a body art procedure, such as:

  • Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart condition, heart disease, or any other conditions that could interfere with the body art procedure?
  • Are you or have you been pregnant within the last 3 months?

Informed Consent

Other topics you need to address with your consent forms:

  • Informed consent statement is recommended to include a signature obtained from the customer and touch on the following topics:
    • Client is voluntarily obtaining services of their own free will and volition.
    • Client has had the opportunity to read and understand the document.
    • Client has the ability to ask questions about the procedure.
    • Client has received and understands written and verbal aftercare.

Artist Records

Every artist should strive to record all the needed information to do the body art procedure they have been hired to do. This also serves as a protective measure for us to find out when something no longer works, or did not produce the desired result. Here is what is suggested by the NEHA Body model art code.The following information is needed for internal studio records. Some programs such as REV23 offer this level of integration to make artists record keeping easier.

Client specific information on the body art procedure:

  • Type of Body Art Procedure
  • Location on Body
  • Design, If Applicable
  • Jewelry Styles and Sizes, If Applicable
  • Expiration date and batch and/or lot number of all equipment sterilized in the body art procedure or bought pre-sterilized that will be applied to or inserted under the skin,
  • Expiration date, brand, color, batch and/or lot number of all inks, dyes, and pigments used in the body art procedure,
  • Date of body art procedure, and any complications that occurred during the body art procedure.
  • The following information from the body artist must be collected:
  • First and Last Name
  • Signature

Complaint and Injury Report

Also make sure you report any important disclaimers:

  • Any injury or complaint of injury, infections that required treatment by a licensed medical practitioner, or any notifiable diseases resulting from the body art procedure that become known to the body artist must be reported by the body artist to the Department using the complaint of injury form within 3 business days of the body artist becoming aware of the complaint or condition.

For body artists it is important we remember that it is our job to report any type of adverse reactions used with any body art procedure. Reports must be made to the Health Department and MedWatch, including the name of the artist, client information, description of adverse event(s), and a complete description of materials involved with lot and/or batch codes. Even if the supplies themselves are or are not under suspicion. The report of these outbreaks will identify problems within manufacturing, and should be attached to complaint forms and injury reports.

Body artists are required to supply their clients with a copy of these forms for their own documentation. So be prepared to keep these records in a proper order to find them at a later date. Records should be kept for 3 years, in print format or digital format. But don’t forget we recommend you check with your local departments. We also recommend you keep the records under locked file and key, so that there is not easy access to these records due to the private information contained in them.