Use of Reflectance Measurements in assessing the Colour Changes of Ageing Bloodstains

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IT is well known, that the colour of bloodstains changes from red to brown with increasing age; but the rate at which these changes occur and the factors which influence this rate are not so well established1–3. This is probably in part due to the use of subjective visual assessment of the changes. Extraction of the bloodstains and subjecting the extracts to spectrophotometric analysis suffers from the defect of being destructive of the stain and is sometimes complicated by simultaneous extraction of dye and dirt from the stained object. There is also evidence that the extraction methods may accelerate the colour changes (Kind, S. S., unpublished results).

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  1. 1

    Polson, C. J., “Essentials of Forensic Medicine”, 206 (English University Press, 1955).

  2. 2

    Taylor, A. S., “Principles and Practice of Medical Jurisprudence”, 1, 357 (1956).

  3. 3

    Glaister, J., “Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology”, 304 (1957).

  4. 4

    Glasser, L. G., and Troy, D. J., J. Opt. Soc. Amer., 42, 652 (1952).

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PATTERSON, D. Use of Reflectance Measurements in assessing the Colour Changes of Ageing Bloodstains. Nature 187, 688–689 (1960) doi:10.1038/187688a0

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