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Blood pattern analysis

Blood pattern analysis

Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA) often provides crucial evidence from scenes of violent crime. When an incident occurs which causes bloodshed, blood may be deposited on nearby surfaces and on individuals. An examination and analysis of the blood pattern of any such deposited blood, by a forensic biologist, may give an indication of the mechanism of deposition and by inference an indication of the activity which caused the deposition.

Forensic biologists

Forensic Biologist   

Nigel Hodge BSc. BTh. DipPS        


Forensic Biologist   

John Page. BA. MSBiol. CBiol. PGDip.


Forensic biologist Sara Short    

Dr Sara Short BSc. PhD. MFSSoc. MAE

Bloodstaining on items or individuals can be deposited in two ways, namely contact between surfaces and airborne deposition.


Contact bloodstaining arises as a result of two surfaces coming into contact with one another while one of the surfaces bears wet blood. Some contact stains can show details of the object that made the mark such as the pattern of fabric or hair. Smeared contact stains arise as a result of a moving contact between two objects, one of which is wet with blood.


Airborne bloodstaining arises as a result of wet blood becoming airborne, due to the application of force. The direction of travel of the blood can often be determined by conducting blood pattern analysis and the examination of the shape of the bloodstain.


Examples of airborne bloodstaining include:


Blood transfer may be primary or secondary. Primary transfer occurs when an object wet with blood comes into direct contact with another surface. Secondary transfer occurs when an object wet with blood comes into contact with another object which then comes into contact with a third object , transferring wet blood in each case. When an assailant becomes blood stained, as a result of striking someone, blood is transferred directly from the complainant to the assailant i.e. there is primary transfer. If the assailant then touches a door handle with their now blood stained hands  that represents secondary transfer.


Blood pattern analysis - case example

An altercation between a group of youths and a single male occurs in the street. This results in the male being stabbed and fatally wounded. The victim’s blood is deposited on the clothing of all of the youths and they are all subsequently charged with murder. The murder weapon (a knife) is later recovered but no DNA apart from that of the victim is recovered from it.


How can our forensic biologist assist the defence counsel?

Our forensic biologists have years of experience in blood pattern analysis (BPA) having given blood pattern analysis evidence and appeared as expert witnesses in many serious and high profile cases.


Our forensic biologist can:

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