Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Terminology

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


Wipe Pattern
A bloodstain pattern created when an object moves through an existing stain, removing and/or altering its appearance.
Bloodstain Example - Wipe Pattern
Bloodstain Example - Wipe Pattern


This pattern was generated by putting several passive stains on a target and dragging the four fingers of the right hand through the stains before they were dried.

Bloodletting scenes can be quite dynamic and wipe patterns are common. It may be possible to determine the direction of travel of an object that created the wipe pattern.

Alternate Terminology

Bevel & GardnerNon-spatter Family - Irregular Margin - Smear - Wipe
James, Kish & SuttonAltered - Sequenced - Wipe
WonderSpatters Not a Criteria - Transfers - Moving - Wipe
SWGSTAINWipe Pattern - An altered bloodstain pattern resulting from an object moving through a preexisting wet bloodstain.