Family warn of impulse holiday tattoos at Dublin inquest

The family of a man who said he contracted a blood borne infection from a tattoo he got abroad have warned of the dangers involved. 

The fifty year old man told his family he contracted the Hepatitis C virus after he went on holiday to Turkey and got a tattoo on impulse. The man was in his late twenties at the time and had been drinking, family members said.

Many who contract the virus remain symptom free for years before the infection attacks the liver and can lead to serious health problems.

“He never told any of us about it, he didn’t want anyone to know. He always said he’d got it as a result of a tattoo he got years ago on holiday in Turkey with a friend,” a family member said.

An inquest into the man’s death heard that he died on March 4 2015 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.

About six weeks before his death he had become confused and was admitted to hospital with a medical background of hepatitis C and liver disease.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that his health and been deteriorating for around 12 months prior to his death and doctors said his liver was not functioning properly before he suffered a cardiac arrhythmia and died.

In the weeks before his death, he had developed cryptococcal meningitis, a fungal form of the infection and was receiving treatment from doctors but suffered an acute gastrointestinal bleed that his heart was unable to cope with, leading to his death, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

The cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia due to myocardial infarction or heart disease.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a narrative verdict setting out the circumstances of his death.

“Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infection that can be transmitted sexually or through a needle. It can be passed on through intravenous drug use or it can be (the result of) a tattoo,” the coroner said.

The family warned anyone considering getting a tattoo to be aware of the health risks involved and to ensure all tattoo parlour equipment is fully sterilised before going ahead.


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