Cochrane Summaries

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No evidence that medical anti-shock trousers improve survival for people with trauma, and some suggestion they may worsen outcomes, but more trials are needed

Roberts I, Blackhall K, Dickinson KJ
Published Online: 
7 October 2009

About one third of injury deaths are due to shock from blood loss. Preventing shock in people with uncontrolled bleeding is therefore vital. Treatment aims to maintain blood pressure, so that tissue damage is minimised. Medical anti-shock trousers (MAST) are believed to increase blood pressure and blood flow to the heart and brain, helping to stabilise the person until they receive further treatment. The review of trials found no evidence that MAST application decreases deaths, with some suggestion that it may even do harm. More research is needed.

This record should be cited as: 
Roberts I, Blackhall K, Dickinson KJ. Medical anti-shock trousers (pneumatic anti-shock garments) for circulatory support in patients with trauma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1999, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD001856. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001856
Assessed as up to date: 
5 April 2007