Healthy 23-Year-Old Woman Dies After Getting a Tattoo

Say What!? 96


Can you die from a tattoo? A healthy 23-year-old woman in Milan, Italy, reportedly died after getting septic shock from a tattoo, according to her family. She had visited a parlor on Thursday, and by Friday she was feeling "shivery" and had "pins and needles" in her hands and feet. By Saturday morning, she had died.

Federica Iammatteo, a student, had apparently gone to a tattoo parlor where she had had other ink done. After her death, prosecutors opened up a "manslaughter" charge against a person unknown and ordered an autopsy. Police reportedly visited the salon, but found no immediate cause to close it or take action.

Yikes. This sounds horrible. Her family claims she was in "perfect health" before the tattoo. And the timing does seem suspicious. But can you really get septic shock and die from a tattoo at a reputable parlor?

In 2009, a man died after a tattoo became infected. But that tattoo was given to him by his girlfriend. It was revealed that he died of a blood clot in his lung after developing a deep vein thrombosis in his calf, where he'd gotten the tattoo.

But apparently sepsis isn't unheard of from a tattoo. It's usually caused by using a dirty needle. However, sometimes allergic reactions can set in even years after getting a tattoo. In another case, a man came down with a "wormlike bacterium" that ended up being from the distilled water used in one of the ink's pigments.

On the whole, though, tattoo-related health problems -- and especially dying from one -- seems incredibly rare. A lot of people are very attached to getting tattoos. Parents get them to honor their children, their spouses, parents, or themselves. Just like virtually everything else though, there are risks involved.

Federica seems to have gotten very unlucky. It's a tragedy that a healthy 23-year-old ends up dead from a tattoo. But you should know the risks before you ink up.

Do you think tattoos are worth the risk?


Image via Kradlum/Flickr

body image, body, tattoos


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LostS... LostSoul88

She went to a dirty shop. 

I have 4 tattoos and plan on getting more. This will not scare me. You're more likely to be killed in a car accident then die from a tattoo. Should we stop driving cars then?

Crisp... CrispyWaffles

just one more reason to never get a tattoo. ever.

mamat... mamatreat

I have 6 tattoo's and at least 3 that I will be getting soon. Not one of my tattoos have ever had a reaction or infection. This goes to show you that you absolutely MUST do your homework when chosing not only a tattoo parlor but a tattoo artist. All equipment should be sterile, unwrapped in front of you, and assembled in front of you. I would never just walk into a shop without doing my homework. 

Mommi... MommietoJB

No. I dont think they look good, especially on women.

Serab... Serabelle

I have 5, and have never had a problem. I wonder what Italy considers "clean" though. America has high standards like the ones mamatreat outlined, but not all countries are like us. I wonder if they allow reusing needles? That is the only way it would make sence to me.

lalab... lalaboosh

Lololololol, do you drive? That's incredibly dangerous! I'll continue going to well established shops that make it a point to show you the brand new needles they're about to use. :)

tesscat tesscat

i have 5 and i've never had any problems at all. most tattoo parlors (at least around here) are incredibly clean. they autoclave everything, open the steril equipment right in front of you, and my artist at least, swtiches gloves multiple times while she works. i plan to get a lot more too, i think they're gorgeous on women ;)

Ashley Sixx Fullenwider

Tattoos don't look good on women? My husband loves my tattoos. I find tattoos on men incredibly sexy too. Don't like tats? Don't get 'em. But don't judge people who have them.

Sounds like a terrifying ordeal! However you have to trust who you go to, it's very important. I love my artist, and will get plenty more in my lifetime.

pagan... paganmommy4

Thats why you sign a release. Most places autoclave their instruments ( or should) and should be done in a sterile environment however most people dont know their allergic to the dye until afterwards.

Maria B Davis

I think they are. Ur gonna die when ur gonna die if u dont do anything cause there is a "risk" u would do nothing. U can die from eating but u can die from not eating get it. Why stop something with a "risk" when there is a risk to everything. I am 20 yrs old have 4 (about to be 5) tattoos and 17 piercings 2 of which I did myself. For these it depends were u go and if u trust the people giving u the tattoo.

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