EMS providers should be aware of the following key points regarding Military Anti-Shock Trousers (MAST) and Pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (PASG):
1. Purpose: MAST and PASG are devices used to manage hemorrhagic shock and hypovolemia. They help stabilize patients by applying external pressure to the lower extremities, which helps redirect blood to vital organs and increase blood pressure.
2. Mechanism of Action: MAST and PASG apply circumferential pressure to the legs and lower abdomen. This pressure compresses the blood vessels, reducing blood pooling in the lower extremities and promoting blood flow back to the heart and brain.
3. Application: MAST consists of a pair of inflatable trousers, while PASG is a single-piece garment that wraps around the patient's lower body. They are typically applied to patients with suspected or confirmed hemorrhagic shock or hypovolemia. The garments are inflated using a manual or automatic pump until a specific pressure is achieved.
4. Considerations: EMS providers should be cautious when applying MAST or PASG, as these devices may have contraindications and potential complications. It is essential to follow proper application techniques and adjust the pressure according to the patient's condition and vital signs. Regular reassessment of the patient is crucial to ensure adequate perfusion.
5. Limitations: MAST and PASG are considered adjuncts to other resuscitative measures and should not replace definitive interventions or delay transportation to a medical facility. They are not suitable for patients with certain injuries or conditions, such as fractures, burns, or abdominal trauma.
6. Training and Familiarity: EMS providers should receive appropriate training on the correct application, monitoring, and potential complications associated with MAST and PASG. Familiarity with local protocols and guidelines is crucial for safe and effective use.
Remember, the use of MAST or PASG should be based on specific protocols, medical direction, and individual patient assessment. Always consult local guidelines and medical control when considering the use of these devices.