Thai woman’s life-saving tattoo offers ‘practical magic’

A Chiang Mai woman who spent two nights in intensive care following a severe allergic reaction to medication is now sporting a truly life-saving tattoo on her upper arm – an English-language list of medicines to which she reacts badly, along with symptoms to watch for.

Siri-on Kasuya, 32, of Hang Dong district also has an illustration of the Bowl of Hygieia, a pharmacy symbol, on her arm, to alert doctors in case of emergency.

Siri-on’s medicinal allergies led to a life-threatening situation last October and she doesn’t want to risk a recurrence, even if the tattoo draws stares in the street and photos of them circulate on the social media, where some people wondered if they were magical talismans.

“If anything happened to me and I were unconscious and unable to give information, a doctor can see from my arm tattoo the list of medicines I’m allergic to and treat me accordingly,” she said.

“I regard this tattoo as my own talisman for protection.” Saying that carrying a warning card in her purse, as allergy sufferers often do, might not be enough, Siri-on said she admired friends’ tattoos and decided to go with something more practical – and perhaps even life-saving. – ANN



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