Bloodstain Camera Finds Blood Quickly and Efficiently

02 Dec

Detecting blood at a crime scene is often essential for determining if a crime did indeed occur and how the act unfolded—crime scene reconstruction. At the scene, a meticulous search for blood can be tedious, time-consuming, and eat up many man-hours.


Techs search for bloodstains

Techs search for bloodstains


Shed blood is not always obvious. The stains are not always patent (visible) but rather latent (invisible). The standard in such situations has been to employ Luminol, which can find even very small latent bloodstains. But Luminol takes time and requires darkness—not always obtainable, particularly in outdoor, daytime crime scenes.


Luminol helps expose latent bloody shoeprints

Luminol helps expose latent bloody shoeprints


A new technology developed by Dr. Meez Islam and colleagues at Teeside University promises to not only be able to detect latent blood spatters quickly but also age the blood very accurately. With month-old stains the device, which uses hyperspectral imaging, can narrow its deposition down to a day and with fresh blood down to an hour. This should greatly help with Time of Death determination—-or at least the time when the blood was shed.


Fresh blood spatter

Fresh blood spatter


Blood exits the body bright red but with time and oxidation becomes rusty brown and does so along a predictable timeline. Accurate determination of the bloodstain’s color with hyperspectral imaging reveals its approximate age.

Very cool. And potentially very useful.


6 responses to “Bloodstain Camera Finds Blood Quickly and Efficiently

  1. Craig Faustus Buck

    December 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Hi Doug,

    Isn’t the rate of an aging blood stain’s change of color affected by temperature or sunlight?


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      December 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Yes–so those considerations and others will need to be factored in any estimation–and so this, like all other techniques for determining the time of death, will be just that–a best guess. But this could make that guess more accurate. Time and experience will tell if this works out that way or not.


  2. Stacy Allen

    December 2, 2013 at 11:38 am

    This is phenomenal. What an amazing discovery.


  3. Cheryl B. Dale

    December 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Can’t believe how advanced our technology gets each day!


  4. tmewalsh

    December 3, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Reblogged this on T. M. E. WALSH and commented:
    This is great information for crime writers, not to mention an important discovery.


  5. Marilyn Levinson

    December 3, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for the information, Doug. Something to keep in mind as we write our mysteries.



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