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How Important Is It To Consider Target Properties and Hematocrit in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 266 Dated: September 2016 Pages: 178-184
Date Published
September 2016
7 pages

This article presents the findings and methodology of a research project that examined the impact of blood drops on targets with a range of surface roughness and surface material.


Trajectory reconstruction from inspection of bloodstain patterns is relevant to crime scene investigation. Although the influence of target properties on trajectory reconstruction has been often qualitatively discussed, it has rarely been quantified. Similarly, a few impact studies measure the viscosity of the blood used in impact experiments. In the current study, the maximum spreading was characterized using a spreading correlation, which relates the ratio of stain diameter to drop diameter with the non-dimensional numbers Reynolds number and Ohnesorge number. The process for obtaining individual spreading correlations for each of the target substrates and for measuring the viscosity of the respective blood samples is described extensively. The error in estimating the drop release height, associated with using an impact correlation unspecific to the target of interest, is estimated analytically and numerically using experimental data. A similar analysis is done when the hematocrit of the blood is assumed rather than measured. Both assumptions lead to significant errors in estimating the release height of a blood droplet. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: September 1, 2016