206 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE mistaken for ecchymosis, but they can be easily distinguished from their number, size, and symmetrical situation (generally on the legs) and frorn^ the absence of abrasions over the spots. Subcutaneous haemorrhage^^ also result from great muscular exertion as in epileptic seizures. Th^-e are usually numerous, but smaller in size. Subconjunctival ecchymoses due to the rupture of small vessels may occur directly from a blow to the eye or indirectly from a blow or fell on the head. They are often seen in children suffer- ing from whooping cough, and may sometimes result from severe straining during sneezing, coughing, vomiting, or lifting heavy weights, especially in old people. Sometimes blebs and bullse may form over the injured part, especially when ecchymosis is caused by an oblique and glanc- ing blow or by fracture of a bone. Result of Bruises.—Bruises are, as a rule, simple injuries. They are seldom fatal unless accom- panied by the rupture of an internal organ, or by extensive crushing of the tissues and large extravasation of blood, producing sloughing and' gangrene of the parts. However, several bruises, though trivial individually, may cause death from shock. In June 1910, Musammat Bullo, 13 years old, was beaten to death by her husband and father-in-law for neg- lecting the household duties. Post- mortem examination showed that death occurred from shock due to twenty-nine simple bruises inflicted on various parts of the body. Age of a Bruise,—The age of a bruise may be ascertained from the colour changes which its eccliyrnosis undergoes during absorption. These^colour changes are due to the disintegration of the red blood cells and staining of tbe haemoglobin thus set free. They commence at the periphery and extend inwards to the centre, They are red at first, but during the next three days they appear blue, bluis^Hack, brown or livid red, and become greenish from the fifth to the sixth day, and yellow from the seventh to the twelfth day. 3Ms yellow colour slowly fades in tint till the fourteenth or fifteenth day when the skin regains its normal appearance. Moreover, its disappear- ance is more rapid in healthy persons than in sickly arid, old people with feeble circulation. It also depends on the nature of the violence tisecL Ecchymosis caused by slight force will disappear in about a week or two, while an extensive oae caused by considerable force will disappear in about tbree t*> four w^eks. It must be remembered that the colour changes are IK>| seen so well on dark skins as on fair skins. Iksehymoses situated in the deeper tissues do not exhibit any gradations of superficial colour ctaages during their absorption. Subconjunctival Fig. 76.—Contusions caused by blows from a blunt weapon (stick).