External cardiac compression has been shown to circulate blood effectively, but the systolic pressures obtained are less than normal cardiac functioning. This study was undertaken to determine whether applying the military anti-shock trouser (MAST) suit resulted in improving systolic blood pressure while using external cardiac compression during cardiac resuscitation. Individuals admitted to the emergency department in cardiac arrest had external cardiac massage applied at a constant rate and force. Intra-arterial blood pressure monitoring was established and baseline systolic blood pressure obtained. In eight patients, the average increase in systolic blood pressure utilizing the MAST suit was 15 mm Hg. The implications of these findings, as well as other means to increase cardiac output in the cardiac arrest patient, are discussed. These findings will be related to both prehospital and emergency department care of patients in cardiac arrest.
- MAST suit, systolic blood pressure
- military anti-shock trousers