Forensics Study: Petechial Hemorrhages

Topics: Death, Blood, Rigor mortis Pages: 1 (288 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Briana ToroForensics
5/19/12G.C.H.S.

Petechial hemorrhages can provide evidence of time of death as well as some ways the person may have died. A petechial hemorrhage is a form of mild hemorrhage which causes markings called petechiae. These markings take the form of small red to purple spots which can vary in size and distribution from a few tiny markings to an array which may look like a rash or abrasion. These spots are caused by a broken capillary blood vessel. A cause of petechiae is through physical trauma such as coughing, crying, or vomiting. This can show on the face especially around the eyes. Petechia like this is not harmful and disappears within a few days. Petechial Hemorrhages is a sign of asphyxia. The presence of petechial hemorrhages often indicates death by strangulation, hanging, or smothering. Detecting Petechial Hemorrhages is very hard to see you need good lighting and possibly a magnifying glass. Petechial hemorrhages found on the face can also mean the person had a heart attack. Petechiae found on the lungs and heart can determine if the person or baby died of a heat stroke or crib death. Petechiae can also be found on sexually assaulted victims. If petechial hemorrhages are found postmortem the spots will be much bigger and overlap. Time of death can be determined in many different ways such as temperature in the liver or stages of rigor mortis. In conclusion Petechial hemorrhage’s can be found in many places. These hemorrhages can determine how you died. Like strangulation, smothering, or hanging. It also can tell you how long a person has been dead. Also if the person had a heat stroke or it happened postmortem.
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