Gear Review, MedCallAssist - MedCallOutfitter Kit

The MedCallOutfitter Kit™ by MedCallAssist™ is designed to provision the owner with medical supplies on his person, and emergency medical consultation from a doctor. The supplies are serious medications and accessories chosen to fight many major infections, and treat traumatic injuries. They are stored in an M3 style medical bag built by Voodoo Tactical. The consultation is a 24-7 emergency service provided by MedCallAssist’s™ on-call doctors. Together, these components create a powerful medical treatment system for anyone that does not have physical access to professional emergency medical services. While there are many provisioned medic bags out there, and many of us have our own creations in service, nothing we have seen combines supplies and a subscription to dedicated medical consultation.

The Bag

Before we get into the kit’s contents, let’s take a look at the M3 bag by Voodoo Tactical. Our review example was black. The website shows a optional tan bag. The top cover is secured with a standard plastic clip. It is water and dust resistant. The overall heft of it suggests it will handle a good deal of abrasion and abuse, which is to be expected in austere trekking environments.

 

The M3 is MOLLE compatible, with two 5″ straps spaced at 4 7/8″ center-to-center. It can be mounted on another pack via the MOLLE attachments, or to a pistol belt using ALICE clips. The bag also has a shoulder strap which extends to a drop length of 21″ fully deployed. It weighs 1lb, 14.7oz., and measures 10.5″ tall, X 10.5″ wide X 5.5″ thick. With contents included, the entire basic MedCallAssist™ kit weighed in at 4lbs. 11oz..

 

It has three compartments, accessible when the top flap is opened. Each compartment is closed with a zipper sporting a nylon tab, tied to its end. Grabbing hold of the tab makes trying to nab the zipper easier when under stress, or when your hands or gloves are wet (or slick with blood). The lower of the three compartments folds up against the second, and is immediately accessible when folded down. The third and uppermost compartment is the largest of the three.

The Contents

Compartment 1

The first compartment, the lowest and closest, has loose items and a bag of others within it. The bagged items are:

  • 15 Assorted Band-Aids
  • 5 clothes pins
  • 10 triple antibiotic units
  • 5 tongue depressors
  • 1 flashlight with pupil gauge
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Small nail clippers

 

 

The loose items are:

  • Z Pak dressing, 4.5″ X 4.1 yds (wound pakcing and compression)
  • 4 pr gloves
  • Skin stapler with 15 staples
  • Skin staple remover
  • Dressing scissors
  • 3 sunscreen lotion towelettes

 

 

Compartment 2 packs quite a few items into it as well.

  • Octylseal high viscosity tissue adhesive
  • Steri-strip (wound closure), .25″ X 4″, 10 count
  • 2 sizes of tape rolls
  • 1 toothache kit
  • 1 magnifying glass, 3x and 5x magnification
  • 2 Petrolatum gauze, 3″ X 9″
  • 11 Gauze pads, 4″ X 4″
  • 2 Tagaderm films, 2 3/8″ X 2 3/4″, transparent film wound cover
  • 4 Albahealth adhering dressings, 3″  x 3″
  • Ace-style bandage, 3″, latex free
  • Kerlix roll, medium 6 ply, 3.4″ X 36 yds.

Compartment 3 contains items that most kits wouldn’t even consider stocking.

  • Q-Tussin, 4oz.
  • Tronolane
  • Tolnaftate anti-fungal cream
  • Triamcinolone cream
  • Epinephrine 1mg., vial
  • Needle, 18g, 1.5″
  • 2 Safety syringes, 1ml, 28g .5″ needle
  • 9 2-packs bismuth tablets
  • Gentamicin Opth solution
  • 8 Halls cough drops
  • 12 Chloraseptic tablets
  • Chapstick
  • Azithromycin 250mg
  • Acetaminohen 500mg
  • Bisacodyl (senna lax tabs)
  • Cephalexin 500mg
  • Cimetidine 400mg
  • Diphenhydramine 25mg
  • Ciproflaxin 500mg
  • Ibuprofen 400mg
  • Loperamide 2mg
  • Loratadine 10mg
  • Trimethoprim /Sulfamethoxazole 800mg /160mg
  • Ondansetron 4mg

This was a review kit sent to us for our perusal. Each kit can be built to order. The web site includes an online customization form, but you can call in for further assistance if need be. A complete listing of the as-built contents can be viewed HERE.

As you can see, the Outfitter Kit includes a wide range of antibiotics. The selection, when used correctly, can treat many forms of infection from animal, plant and mechanical injuries. I was impressed with the Cipro supply, which includes two complete courses of medication when used in 7 day treatment programs. In the picture above, you’ll notice that most of the meds are in zip lock baggies. Each baggie is labeled with the medication’s name, strength and expiration date. The printing is clear and sharp for easy reading.

Where There is NO Doctor

Standing alone, the medication and wound supplies provide plenty of treatment capacity, but no intuitive usage direction. Unless you are a doctor or an experienced medic, knowing what to do with the supplies will be hit and miss. This is where MedCallAssist’s™ Telemedicine™ Consultation component comes it. From their web site:

“With MedCallAssist™ you can take your doctor with you, or at least the guidance of a board-certified Emergency Physician. MedCallAssist™ is your direct connection to a physician advisor at times of urgent medical need, on the job, or away from home. We have board-certified physicians to consult with you, directly, 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week.”

The subscription for this service is for one year, and renews at a fraction of the kits initial $375 price tag – $75.  Expired drugs can also be updated.

Thoughts on the Kit

The primary value in this kit is having the experience of a doctor and the equipment and medicine he uses at a time when you would otherwise have neither, and no hope of getting to them. Being able to reach help by phone, and be walked through a course of treatment is something we should all have available to us when we are somewhere remote. Many of us could build a kit, but getting medications and arranging for an on-call expert will require access that few regular folk have. Consider this when evaluating this system.

One of the options you can request is that the drugs be loaded into vials. While this takes up quite a bit of room, I recommend it. I would also suggest that you pack the vials with cotton if you do. This will prevent the pills and tabs from bouncing around and slowly turning into powder. As they are, in baggies, they don’t move quite so much, but they can be harmed by crushing impact and rough handling. Think “baggage handlers” and Sherpas.

The basic kit does not come with any blood stop. Celox is my recommendation. MedCallAssist™ offers Celox-A as an option. To me, that is a no-brainer. Celox-A, powder and the gauze are what I stock as a minimum in my personally assembled kits, and I would not deploy with the Outfitter without them.

Also available as options are an IV Kit (with saline), splints, and Mole skin. A good disposable scalpel, suture set and drain wouldn’t take much room, either,  but you would need to supply those yourself. To round it off, they offer an AED and the Auto-injecting Epi-pen, which have specific uses for which there are very few alternatives.

The M3 pack is not a clam shell bag. You can not open it up wide and see everything at a glance. This might not be a problem for you, though I know a few medics that prefer such a bag. While it would be a tight fit, you can get a few more items into this bag. What you would need to do is experiment with loading it up to suit your individual tastes. It does not seem to be an immediate action bag. Time wasted digging through a stuffed M3 could lesson its utility. To alleviate this, some of the more serious components dealing with blood stoppage more rightly should be in an IFAK setup, and the medications and associates “treatment” components left in the M3 for careful storage and organization.

For neato factor, I liked the flashlight. The pupil gauge is something the TeleMedicine™ doctor may have you reference under certain situations. It is also useful for locating items in the bag, in the dark. Under the light of a shop, it’s little problem finding things. In the bush, with no moon, that’s a different story. I would lock the flashlight down under the main flap, and on the second compartment, so that it is readily visible and deployable when the kit is opened up.  In the dark, it is the first thing you should see.

You also are provided with a well organized Medical Guide, full color, listing problems and answers addressed by the contents of the Kit. It was written by an emergency physician and a paramedic. At first glance, the guide appears to be too small to be of much information, but that isn’t the case. I found it to be quite informative, and the color photographs give an immediate insight to those with little medical experience. They also include 3 heavy duty plastic cards with contact information for the Telemedicine™ service. It seems redundant until you reflect that getting hold of them right now isn’t something you want delayed because you couldn’t find the one contact card you have. Some things are best in multiples.

Additional Services

MedCallAssist offers some very nice additional services. They are Physician Consultation for Employers, Repatriation Services Coordination Worldwide (getting you home), Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance, and Air & Ground Preferred Provider Organization. See their site for details.

In Closing

Some people I discussed this with reacted to the price. When I explained the unique capabilities of this system, that reaction vanished, or lessened. It is important to consider the doctor on call. Some thought the medications were the hot ticket, and they certainly are important, but as it is with any two-piece system, each is augmented by the other. I strongly recommend this for the average Joe that lacks the ability to round all this up on his own. This is not the system for a combat medic, or CERT physician, each with a stock of supplies. If your preparations have a medical emergency hole in them that can’t be filled, short of dragging a clinic along with you, this is the most readily available answer to your problem. Supplies can be bought in many places. Having 24/7 access to a doctor’s experience is quite another story.

Where might this come in handy?

  • Initial stock for your BOL or back country BOV or BORV
  • Hunting trips
  • Excursions into the wild, or unknown outdoor locations
  • Private investigative missions into remote areas
  • Trips to areas of the world where medical services are questionable
  • Guides, bush pilots, boating crews

And finally, in their own words….

The MedCallKit™ is designed for individuals who often cannot immediately access an Emergency Room or doctor’s office but yet require high-quality medical care quickly. The MedCallKit™ is the intelligent choice for travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, yachting and boating enthusiasts, people living in rural or remote areas, and families desiring to control healthcare costs and live a more self-reliant lifestyle.

 

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