Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Terminology

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


Transfer/Contact Pattern
A bloodstain pattern created when a wet, bloody surface comes in contact with a second surface. A recognizable image of all or a portion of the original surface may be observed in the pattern.
Bloodstain Example - Transfer/Contact Pattern
Bloodstain Example - Transfer/Contact Pattern


This pattern was generated by wiping blood on the bottom of a shoe and stepping on the target.

When a wet bloodied object comes in contact with a non-bloodied surface, some blood will be transferred from the object to the surface. In some cases the resulting transfer pattern may have enough detail to identify the object that created the stain.

Alternate Terminology

Bevel & GardnerNon-spatter Family - Regular Margin - Pattern Transfer
James, Kish & SuttonPassive - Contact/Transfer
WonderSpatters Not a Criteria - Transfers - Simple Direct
SWGSTAINClosest to Transfer Stain - A bloodstain resulting from contact between a blood-bearing surface and another surface.