ATKINSON, N.H. (AP) -New Hampshire is in need of blood donations, according to a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross New England Region.

Levels are low this time of year because people are on vacation, said Donna Morrissey.

“Typically we feel most comfortable with a three- to five-day supply,” she said. Most hospitals are on a one-day supply for blood, she said.

The Red Cross is hosting blood drives to try to address the shortage.

Morrissey noted that all types of blood are in need, but those with Type O blood are most sought after because they are “universal donors” – their blood is generally compatible with any blood type, she said.

Karen Faria of Kingston, who recently gave blood at a blood drive in Atkinson on Friday, said she believes many people don’t donate blood because they are scared, but she doesn’t think there is a reason to be. She said she has donated blood every two or three months for several years.

“I thought it was something I could do to help people,” she said. “But I hear a lot of people don’t like to do it.”

One way the Red Cross is trying to encourage people to give blood is through raffles and giveaways at their drives, Morrissey said. Those who register to give blood this summer in southern New Hampshire can enter a raffle for a one-year lease on a Porsche, among other prizes.

Restaurant gift certificates and a raffle for Red Sox tickets were part of the reason that Jeff Mceachern of Hampstead and Trent Gelo of Derry, both 17, decided to give blood.

“I’m here because it’s a good cause,” Mceachern said while waiting to donate Friday. “And there’s lots of free stuff, too.”

On the Net”

American Red Cross New England Region,

Information from: Eagle Tribune,

AP-ES-07-21-08 1521EDT

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