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JEMS. 2000 Feb;25(2):38-41, 44-5.

Is MAST in the past? The pros and cons of MAST usage in the field.


Initially, MAST was viewed as a panacea for hypovolemic trauma patients. Through decades of study, this has not panned out. However, MAST seems to stabilize and decrease bleeding in pelvic and long-bone fractures of the lower extremities. It also appears useful in anaphylaxis and in non-traumatic intra-abdominal hemorrhage. The suit has proven deleterious to trauma victims with moderate hypotension (systolic BP 50-90 mm Hg) who face only a short ride to a hospital, especially those with thoracic injuries. Its role in patients with severe hypotension or long prehospital transport times remains unclear. In severely hypotensive patients, the improvement in BP and oxygenation to the heart and brain may override any negative effects of continued hemorrhage. We must wait for further studies to resolve these issues.

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