Project Update & Goals

We are in the process of refurbishing the former Toronto General Hospital hyperbaric chamber for our new medical facility. The “new” chamber was used by the Canadian Navy team that developed and tested a new approach to decompression using computers (initially pneumatic analogue computers). The team was headed by Roy Stubbs and Captain Kidd and led to the widely used DCIEM tables.

The original Tobermory Hyperbaric Chamber (recompression chamber) is a Perry Mulitplace chamber capable of diving to 300 feet seawater. Compressed air is employed to increase the air pressure within the chamber. Patients (maximum of 4 people) sit inside the chamber on benches (or lie down, if necessary) and are administered 100% oxygen via special masks or oxygen hoods. Heliox or mixed gases are also available for medical and technical purposes. It will remain functional for urgent cases until the new unit becomes operational.

The new Hyperbaric Facility is now part of the same building complex which houses a fully-equipped medical clinic and family practice offices. Doctors are available during hyperbaric treatments and are always available for emergency or urgent treatments.

We need to rebuild the facility, bringing it up to current standards in physical plant, staff training and operational protocols so as to:

1. Ensure the ongoing availability of support for sport, commercial and scientific diving by providing:

    • lectures and instructional chamber dives
    • improved response to diving problems through investigation and research
    • training in defensive diving techniques and management of diving mishaps and casualties
    • emergency medical services directly or via remote support

2. Upgrade the ability to provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to patients who meet the criteria (not all patients are suitable candidates) for this mode of therapy. This is to be developed in collaboration with the regional wound care programs and a program of education for the medical community regarding the indications and benefits HBOT offers patients and the healthcare system.

3. Provide access to a suitable training environment for physicians working toward the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Diploma in Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine in conjunction with one of the medical schools with which our staff hold appointments. Suitable training can be extended to other medical branches, including but not limited to: nurse practitioners, respiratory technicians, nurses, etc.

4.  Allow access to the Hyperbaric Facility for researchers from accredited institutes of higher education for diving, medical and basic science research projects.

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Photo of Dr. Harpur on rotary dial phone in hyperbaric chamber tobermory
“The Tobermory Hyperbaric Chamber’s Oxygen Therapy gave me hope when I was losing hope”.
Scott SiebertSnowmoble Accident Victim
"I urge all divers, snorkelers, kayakers, boaters, and swimmers to generously support the effort. It is vitally important."
"Now it’s our turn to provided needed assistance to help upgrade this facility so it can continue to support divers who enjoy one of the world’s premier diving locations, The Fathom Five National Marine Park. "
President of Dan Orr Consulting LLCPresident, Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences