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                                                                     BLOCKER BURN UNIT

   The University of Texas Medical Branch was established in 1891.  It is the oldest of the four health sciences centers in the University of Texas System.  Located on a barrier island bordering the Gulf Coast, the 85-acre main campus includes a complex of six hospitals, four academic schools, numerous research centers and institutes, and one of the largest medical libraries in the Southwest.

   The Blocker Burn Unit is named after former UTMB President Dr. Truman  Blocker, who served in this capacity from 1964-1974.  Dr Blocker, a plastic surgeon and burns specialist, established this unit during his tenure and expanded the service to treat burn victims from the entire Gulf Coast Area.

   The plastic surgeon who so skillfully repaired cleft lips and palates on the tiniest babies also was known for his pioneering work in the treatment of burn patients and mass casualties—including victims of the worst industrial accident in American history, the infamous 1947 Texas City Disaster, and Japanese patients disfigured by American atomic bombs at the end of World War II.

   Dr. Virginia Blocker was a collaborator in much of her husband’s research. After the 1947 Texas City explosion, they followed some 800 patients for nine years, publishing a number of articles about their findings.

   During World War II and immediately afterwards, Blocker was a military surgeon in the U.S. Army, becoming chief of surgery at the 2,000-bed Wakeman General Hospital in Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where combatants with head and neck injuries were treated.

   When he returned to UTMB as assistant professor at the end of the war, Blocker established the Special Surgical Unit (housed in a former military barracks) to help treat the large number of World War II military casualties, and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, of which he was named chief.

   In 1996, the Blocker Burn Unit became the first burn center in the United States to become certified not only by the American College of Surgeons, but also by the American Burn Association.

   Staffed by a range of professionals, including general and plastic surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, technical healthcare assistants, unit clerks, dieticians, and pastoral care, the Blocker Burn Unit provides comprehensive care to patients with debilitating burn injuries.

   The Blocker Burn Unit is a six bed unit that cares for patients of all ages, with a tub room and day room for family members.  In the event of mass trauma, burn beds may be found in Surgical ICU, Pediatric ICU (for children who have been burned), regular surgical units, and other ICUs and medical/surgical units around the hospital.


           Our staff at the Blocker Burn Unit

Dr. Truman Blocker
Dr. Truman Blocker




Blocker Burn Unit Staff




Referral Information for Blocker Burn Unit - UTMB Galveston












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