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World Record for Return to Everest Doctors


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: May 24, 2007

Medical research team sets world record for highest laboratory.


Category: Press Releases

Return to Everest's Caudwell Xtreme Doctors Summit Everest and Set World Record for Medical Science

Medical research team featured in MacGillivray Freeman's IMAX® Theatre Film Return to Everest Sets World Record for Highest Laboratory

Laguna Beach, CA, May 24, 2007 -- The Caudwell Xtreme Everest team of doctors featured in MacGillivray Freeman's upcoming IMAX Theatre film RETURN TO EVEREST, has summitted Everest from the South, via the South East Ridge. Led by Dr. Mike Grocott from Britain, the summit team included Return to Everest co-director and director of mountain photography, Michael Brown, who filmed the ascent.

Dr. Mike Grocott, Dr. Sundeep Dhillon (Climbing Leader), Dr. Daniel Martin, Mr. Chris Imray and Dr. Nigel Hart from Britain summitted yesterday (May 23) and Dr. Jeremy Windsor from Britain and Dr. Roger McMorrow and Dr. Mick O'Dwyer from Ireland, with Michael Brown from the United States, summitted today (May 24). Dr. Paul Gunning from Britain also reached 27,600 feet (8,400 meters) today but turned back.

The scientists and doctors are investigating hypoxia -- a deficiency of oxygen in the blood -- to help future patients in intensive care. They set a world record by taking arterial blood samples near the summit of the world's highest mountain. The samples were taken on the Balcony at 27,600 feet rather than the summit for safety reasons, due to low temperatures and high winds.

In addition, the Caudwell Xtreme Everest team constructed the world's highest laboratory at 26,246 feet (8,000 meters) on the mountain's South Col.

While the core Caudwell Xtreme team climbed Everest, 200 volunteers from the public took part in three-week long treks to Everest Base Camp at 17,388 feet (5,300 meters), where they took part in rigorous scientific tests and kept daily diaries recording personal medical data. This is now widely acknowledged as the world's largest human biology experiment at high altitude.

The Caudwll Xtreme Everest expedition will be featured in Return to Everest, MacGillivray Freeman Films' upcoming film for giant screen theatres and 3D giant screen theatres slated for release on March 4, 2009. Return to Everest is the company's follow-up to its 1998 blockbuster Everest, whose $136 million in worldwide ticket sales makes it the highest-grossing large format film of all time.

"Our heartfelt congratulations go to Dr. Mike Grocott and the entire Caudwell Xtreme Everest team and to Michael Brown for successfully reaching the top of the world for the benefit of medical science," said Return to Everest producer/director Greg MacGillivray, who just returned from filming at Everest Base Camp. "We are in awe of their accomplishments and couldn't be more thrilled for the entire team. We wish them a safe and speedy return as they make their way down the mountain."

Dr. Mike Grocott, Caudwell Xtreme Everest expedition leader, said, "Reaching the summit was the culmination of four years of extensive planning and determination to improve the medical world's understanding of hypoxia. We know that by observing healthy individuals at high altitude where oxygen is scarce, we can learn about physiological changes that can improve critical care at the hospital beside."

Grocott continued, "The data gathered from the trekkers, and from the climbers high on the mountain, will, we hope, prove to be a valuable key to our understanding of how healthy individuals adapt to low oxygen. Patients that will be helped by the research range from those with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Cystic Fibrosis, to those with emphysema, septic shock and 'blue babies.'"

Return to Everest will also feature the reunion of Jamling Norgay and Araceli Segarra, co-stars of the original Everest, who recently trekked to Everest Base Camp with a MacGillivray Freeman Film production crew to film and explore the changes on the mountain that have occurred in the eleven years since their successful summit and to teach new mountaineering skills to the Sherpa people, whose story is also told in the film.

The MacGillivray Freeman Films team was led by producer/director Greg MacGillivray and includes producer Shaun MacGillivray, co-director and director of mountain photography Michael Brown, director of photography Brad Ohlund, cameraman Jack Tankard, assistant cameramen Robert Walker and Ryan Ross, and film researcher Barbara MacGillivray. A MacGillivray Freeman film crew will return to Everest next spring to complete principal photography. Return to Everest marks the first time the world's tallest mountain will be filmed in IMAX 3D.

"Our time at Everest Base Camp with Jamling and Araceli was an extraordinary experience," said Greg MacGillivray. "They are like rock stars, everybody there knows and respects them. And to get to know so many of the Sherpas -- the true unsung heroes of Everest -- was an absolute delight. We look forward to bringing their incredible story to giant screen audiences in 2009."

Return to Everest is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. It is the company's eighth film in its Great Adventure Film® series, a brand that encompasses original giant screen productions based on real-life adventures in remote locations and that celebrate the discovery of the natural world.

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the largest, most experienced independent producer and distributor of giant screen 70mm films in the world. Throughout the company's 40-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for Dolphins and The Living Sea. MacGillivray Freeman's films are known for their artistry and successful blend of education and entertainment, as well as their celebration of science and the natural world.

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