Table 2

The documentation of bruising includes the following

(1) Shape: the contour, pattern, and degree of swelling should be described as fully as possible
(2) Size: this will depend on the shape of the bruise. However, it is important to give the overall dimensions in terms of at least two measurements—width and length—together with the orientation of each. The size can be compared with its size at any later examination of the injury
(3) Colour: a description of the colour of the bruise in simple terms is essential
(4) Site: as with any injury it is essential to describe its exact location on the body. This should include a description of the location (for example, lower aspect of left front of chest) and distance from two points of reference (for example, from the midline and below the top of the shoulder)
(5) Photography: it is essential to illustrate the description of bruising with good quality photography. A measurement scale should be included within each photograph and, where attempts are made to age bruises by assessing their colour, as depicted in the photographic print, it is useful to include a colour scale
(6) In certain circumstances, the use of special photographic techniques using different wavelengths outside the visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet and infrared, may enhance the appearance of a bruise2