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JAMA Revisited
January 26, 2016

A Medicolegal Study of Blood Stains

Author Affiliations

January 22, 1916


JAMA. 1916;66 (4) :277.

JAMA. 2016;315(4):421. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.17072

A question, not only of great theoretical but also of important medicolegal and practical interest, is the determination of the origin of blood stains on various articles. Chemical, biologic and immunologic research have been called on to aid in this study. Sutherland1 has recently reported the results of the examination of 6,566 articles suspected of being blood-stained in relation to 2,643 medicolegal cases. The question at issue in 1,650 of these cases was murder; in 284, assault; in 189, rape, and in other cases the questions involved practically every aspect of human life. The articles examined included the various body discharges—saliva, urine, feces, etc.—and virtually every form of animate and inanimate material. The determinations showed that various stains were due to the blood of such animals as the sheep, goat, ox, buffalo, dog, horse and pig, and various combinations.

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