Bleeding from an arterial or cardiac wound can leave a characteristic blood stain associated with the variation of blood pressure during systole and diastole.


Features of bleeding from an arterial wound:

(1) There is often a large amount of blood loss if there is bleeding from a major artery or the heart.

(2) Blood emerges from the arterial wound in spurts during systole.

(2a) If the person is moving, then the blood stain will show a wave, zig-zag or meandering pattern on the wall or floor.

(2b) If the person is stationary, then the blood will travel some distance from the victim, with the amount of blood being greater closer to the body.

(3) As the victim loses blood and become hypotensive, then the maximum distance traveled by ejected blood decreases.


Differential diagnosis:

(1) staggering of the victim, with weaving from side to side

(2) cast off blood from a weapon


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