208 MEDICAL JUEISPRUDENCE In October 1932, a woman was sent to me by the City Magistrate of Lucknow with a report that she had been beaten with a cane. She had two vertical dark-brown patches . along the upper part of the left shoulder blade towards its inner border. These were^f almost parallel with an intervening space of half-an-inch. Their margins were Wj^f^ The first one of them was 2\ff A J", and the other was 2" X 4". She had also a^milar patch, 2" \ 5", along the back of the left forearm towards its outer side^m 11/3" below the left elbow. Ail these patches appeared to have been caused bjsx?utphuric acid. Dutt - also reports cases in which a rectangular shiny patch produced by caustic on the chest \\as claimed to be the result of a blow, and the mark left by a heated rupee on the back was attributed to a blow from a lathi (club). Difference between Ante-mortem and Post-mortem Bruises.—A certain | amount of swelling and the colour changes are found in a bruise caused during life. There are usually coagulation of the effused blood into the^ subcutaneous tissues and infiltration of the blood in the muscle fibres. I Th§5£ signs are absent in a Tmu'se caused after death. In a doubtful case it is advisable to make a micros- copic examination of the affected tissue. A bruise is likely to be disfigured by putrefaction, and it is diffi- cult to differentiate between a bruise caused during life and that caused immediate- ly after death. Sir Robert Christison proved by ex- periments that it was pos- Fig. 78.—Effused, coagulated blood in the subcutaneous tissues of the chest due to ante-mortem contusion. sible to produce a bruise within two hours to three hours and a quarter after death which it would be difficult to distinguish from one caused during Me; but he found that very great violence had to be used and even then the resulting bruise was much j smaller than what would have been produced by similar means during life./ However, Sir Bernard H. Spilsbury 3 has pointed out that two minutes after death no appreciable bruising occurs, inasmuch as the development of a bruise depends upon the maintenance of the circulation, which slows down owing to the fall of the arterial blood, and is soon completely arrested as soon as the heart's action is stopped in death. ABRASIONS ^iisasions are injuries involving loss of the superficial epithelial layer of ffie^skin, and are produced by a blow or a fall on a rough surface, by scratching with the finger nails or by teeth-bites. Abrasions vary in size and shape and^bleed very slightly. They are of very little significance from a surgeon's point of view, but are of great importance from a medico-legal point of view. Abrasions resulting from friction against a rough surface during a fall are mostly found on bony parts, and are usually associated with contusions or lacerated wounds and sometimes with very serious injuries. Abrasions may also be covered with mud, straw, etc. ^Abrasions caused by the finger nails indicate a struggle and an assault, and are usually seen on the exposed parts of the body, such as the face, neck, fore-arms, hands, etc. They may be crescentic in shape, especially if 2. Ind. Med. Gaz^ Hay 1927, p. 296. 3. Lancet, Feb. 28, 1925, p. 421.