THE MAST suit has become a standard component of the prehospitalization armamentarium.1 Other terms in the medical literature that have been used to refer to essentially the same device include medical antishock trousers, military antishock trousers, antishock garments, G-suits, anti-shock air pants, external counterpressure devices, pneumatic trousers, counterpressure suits, circumferential pneumatic compression devices, and pneumatic antishock garments. MAST suit is the most popular term; it is often used to refer to all of the aforementioned devices, although it is a trade name. This article critiques the antishock trousers made by all manufacturers. When we allude to MAST suits we are not singling out one manufacturer but referring to the generic product.
The MAST suit consists of a pair of trousers with three inflatable bladders held in place by Velcro fasteners or zippers. It resembles a large blood pressure cuff tailored into a pair of pants. The suit consists of