A breath of fresh air

MUHC celebrates the first annual “World Spirometry Day” with on-the-spot tests


MUHC celebrates the first annual “World Spirometry Day” with on-the-spot tests

Montreal, October 14, 2010 – Most people understand the importance of having their blood pressure and cholesterol level checked regularly, but what about their respiratory health? Lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect around 6 million Canadians, but millions more may be living with these conditions unaware. To celebrate World Spirometry Day, MUHC healthcare professionals will be raising awareness of lung health, by offering free spirometry tests at the Montreal Chest Institute and Royal Victoria Hospital. 

The spirometry test is a simple, safe and painless test that measures lung capacity. “The test is essential for the diagnosis and follow-up of the most common respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD,” says Danielle Beaucage, Head Nurse of the clinics at the Montreal Chest Institute. “It’s as easy as blowing into a tube – it can take five minutes of your life, and it could save your life.”

Unfortunately, spirometry is underutilized – fewer than 30 per cent of family physicians in Canada use the test. As a result, many people live undiagnosed and untreated with conditions like COPD and only seek treatment at an advanced stage of disease. Early diagnosis is crucial for successful treatment, and the spirometry test is capable of detecting COPD at a very early stage of the disease, before it affects the quality of life. 

"Increased awareness about lung health is vital, and by taking a simple and painless test that only takes a few minutes to perform, everybody can find out about the state of his or her lungs. It is urgent we use the tools of modern medicine to change the course of chronic lung diseases,” says Dr. Jean Bourbeau, Director of the Respiratory, Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit at the Montreal Chest Institute of the MUHC. “If current trends continue, more than 10,000 Canadians may die from COPD complications in the coming year.” 

All Montrealers are invited to visit the MUHC for their “on-the-spot” spirometry test and have their lung capacity measured by a certified respiratory therapist:


At the Montreal Chest Institute of the MUHC

Lobby, first floor
3650 St-Urbain, Montreal, H2X 2P4
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


At the Royal Victoria Hospital of the MUHC

Main entrance
687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal , H3A 1A1
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) One of the world’s foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research teaching and technology assessment. Highly committed to the continuum of care in its community and affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, The Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC value multidisciplinary service throughout the lifespan, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.25-billion Redevelopment Project on three campuses—the Mountain, the Glen and Lachine—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families benefit from The Best Care for Life.  The campuses are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BESt guidelines. www.muhc.ca