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“Bubbles”—A Spot Diagnosis

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Aspiration of blood is a phenomenon observed in violent and natural death scenarios. Bloodstain patterns evolving from expectoration of aspired blood may look suspicious of a violent genesis and thus mislead crime scene investigators. In the present case, a woman was found lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Furthermore, bloodstains covered her face, clothing, and surrounding furniture and walls. Bloodstain pattern analysis and medicolegal inspection of the suspected scene of crime were carried out and revealed dispersed stains with enclosed gas bubbles in the absence of signs of physical violence leading to the assessment of a natural manner of death. The bloodstains were attributed to expiration of blood because of an internal bleeding. Medicolegal autopsy confirmed the on-site diagnosis as a fatal esophageal varix rupture was found.
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Keywords: aspiration; bloodstain pattern analysis; esophageal varix; expectoration; exspiration; forensic science; hemoptysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center of Legal Medicine, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/M., Kennedyallee 104, Frankfurt/M. 60596, Germany.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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