McGill's Sports Science Centre gets hyperbaric oxygen chamber

Published: 10 September 1997

Update (November 1, 2018): McGill University doesn't own an hyperbaric oxygen chamber anymore. Please consult the website of the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal for more information on hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Quebec.


Officials at McGill University announced their state-of-the-art Sigma Plus hyperbaric oxygen chamber today. It is the latest addition to the Seagram Sports Science Centre, located in the University’s sports centre on Pine Avenue. The Clinic will be known as the Cleghorn Hyperbaric Oxygen Laboratory.

"This is the first such unit dedicated to research and clinical treatment of sports-related injuries in Quebec," said Dr. David Montgomery of the McGill Faculty of Education, and co-chair of the Seagram Sports Science Centre. "We are in contact with several sites in the U.S., and colleagues in Vancouver, to be up-to-date on their experiences as we initiate our research."

Similar units have gained notoriety as a result of their popularity with professional sports teams in North America. Organizations such as the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Cowboys have used hyperbaric oxygen units to hasten rehabilitation of injuries such as sprains and soft tissue damage, in what are described as significantly shorter recovery periods.

"There is exciting anecdotal evidence that this is an emerging component of successful sports injury treatments," says Dr. David Mulder, Medical Director of the McGill Sport Medicine Clinic who is also Surgeon-in-Chief at the Montreal General Hospital. "Our goal is to combine the efforts of the Seagram Sports Science Centre researchers and medical doctors of the McGill Sport Medicine Clinic to investigate the efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. With the approval of the Faculties of Medicine and Education, we hope to provide, through empirical review, the answer to this question."

The project is enthusiastically welcomed by Ronald Corey, President of the Montreal Canadiens, who has added the organization’s support.

Within the project parameters, hyperbaric oxygen under pressure will be delivered to musculo-skeletal tissues that have been injured or fatigued from physical activity. Treatment duration in the Sigma Plus chamber is typically 90 minutes per session. The number of recommended treatments will vary with the nature of the injury or fatigue.

The Sigma Plus hyperbaric unit has been designed and manufactured by Perry Baromedical Corporation of Riviera Beach, Florida. Its Chairman, Kerrigan H. Turner, was instrumental in the conception and development of this research project. The Turner family has provided this chamber under a most generous arrangement, to allow McGill and its partners to initiate research in the field of sports medicine. The operation of the laboratory is possible as a result of special assistance from the Molson Family, the Ed Ricard Fund of the Montreal General Hospital, the Maurice Richard Foundation, the Canadian Arena Co., and John and Pattie Cleghorn.

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