Kate on Blood | Pooling, Pumping, and Spatter

Ah blood, that glistening red liquid that brings violent and gory scenes to life.

How much do you know about it?


There are around 5 litres of blood in the average human body. If you think of that amount in terms of bottles of fizzy drink it doesn’t seem that much does it? Imagine spilling those bottles of drink on the floor and how far the pool would spread.

Only blood is a little thicker than that so fill your imaginary bottles with milkshake and spill that on the floor. It’s quite a lot isn’t it? It also begins to thicken on contact with the air, or coagulate, although you don’t see the effects of this immediately.

Not all of the blood will be pumped from the body when an individual is killed or injured. It would need to be an artery that was cut to get the spurting or pumping effect. And that would continue only as long as the heart was still beating and gradually decrease in intensity. If a vein was hit instead then it would be more of an ooze as this blood is not being pumped away from the heart and the blood would look different.

The blood in the arteries is oxygen rich and therefore the colour is a bright red. Blood in the veins has already delivered its oxygen and as a result is a much darker red.

Blood that hasn’t left the body

Blood that has not left the body during death or before it will pool within the body and appear somewhat like a large bruise on the lowest part of the body. For example if the body is laid face up the pooling will occur in the areas that are lowest on the back of the body (although not restricted to the back itself).

Then there is blood spatter, the direction blood was travelling when it hit another surface or object, this can be measured and force and angle calculated.  The area the blood lands on can also tell a story and the spatter can indicate everything from the assailants height to location to items missing from the scene.

The amount of blood that appears in a movie, picture or story should be appropriate to the victims injury, dead or alive. Too much or too little can render the scene unbelievable -In my opinion.

Any other questions?