How much bleeding after death?

QUESTION: In the scene I’m writing in my book, we have somebody discovering the body of a woman who ostensibly has fallen down the steps. She also had quite a head wound which bled a lot.  My question is – if a body is ‘just’ dead and then pushed down the steps, how much blood would there realistically be? … My book’s scenario involves someone finding the body almost right after it has been pushed down the stairs, so the killer is still in the house.  I want the person who finds the body to stick their hand in the victim’s blood and then put fingers to the victim to make it harder for that person who found the body to prove their innocence.

ANSWER: So you’re right, scalp wounds bleed like crazy so there would be blood all over the victim’s clothing. Once the subject dies, however, and the heart stops, no more blood is ejected from the wound, except maybe flow by gravity. So it depends a little on how long you want the person to keep having a pulse. A fall down the stairs could kill in a few ways: A broken neck may or may not kill instantly, depending on how high on the neck the break occurs. A huge bleed under the skull (compressing the brain) could kill quickly, if it’s big enough.  So the simple answer is, you could get away how-to-draw-blood-1with a fair amount, or a little, but I wouldn’t think a ton of blood on the landing would make sense.

With regard to the time-frame, blood outside the body will congeal in 10-minutes or so (depending on the surface it’s on, temperature, subject’s clotting status). After that it would still be gooey (high tech medical term), with a liquid phase around it that is less red. So make  sure the person who needs to leave bloody fingerprints gets to the body in time.

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