Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Terminology

Note: At the 2009 IABPA meeting in Portland, OR, USA, the IABPA membership voted to adopt the SWGSTAIN recommended terminology.


Drip Pattern
A bloodstain pattern which results from blood dripping into blood.
Bloodstain Example - Drip Pattern
Bloodstain Example - Drip Pattern


This example was generated by letting blood drip from the end of small-bore syringe approximately 100 cm above the target. The position of the source was kept constant.

As a sufficient volume was generated at the center of the pattern, the blood began to fall into blood. This created secondary spatter also known as satellite spatter. This secondary spatter radiated out from the parent stain in all directions.

Alternate Terminology

Bevel & GardnerNon-spatter Family - Irregular Margin - Blood into Blood
James, Kish & SuttonPassive - Contact/Transfer - Drop - Multiple
WonderComposites - Blood into Blood
SWGSTAINDrip Pattern - A bloodstain pattern resulting from a liquid that dripped into another liquid, at least one of which was blood.