Table 3

Assessment of bruising includes consideration of the following

(1) Whether the discoloured area seen is in fact a bruise
(2) Its causation; that is, nature of the object or surface impacting on skin
(3) The force of impact
(4) The age of the bruise
(5) The site at which it is found and its relevance to causation and appearance
(6) Congestion or vascularity of the site
(7) Distribution, where there are several bruises
(8) Appearance (pattern, size, colour, related injuries—for example, central abrasion)
(9) Collective assessment of multiple bruises (and other types of injuries) to reconstruct events—for example, in non-accidental injury in children
(10) The presence of natural disease, particularly blood dyscrasias, which may be a primary or contributory factor in its production
(11) Constitutional factors of the individual
(12) Skin colouration of the individual