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              Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston                                   University of Texas Medical Branch
                                                                                                                            John Sealy Hospital
                                                                                                                             Blocker Burn Unit

Specializing in the treatment of radiation, chemical, thermal, and inhalation injury


The Galveston Burn Center

An international center of excellence for burn care


The Galveston burn center has its origin in the 1947 explosion in Texas City, Texas, which killed 653 people and injured thousands more.  This disaster inspired new models for mass casualties and prompted the
opening of the UTMB burn unit by Dr. Truman Blocker.  UTMB began treating Shriners patients in 1963, and Shriners Burns Hospital was opened on the UTMB campus in 1966.  UTMB’s Blocker Burn Unit and Shriners Hospitals for Children—Galveston share clinical/research staff as well as facility space/equipment, creating a strong and unique collaborative team.
  This burn center boasts the best burn survival statistics in the countryA recent grant from BP funded a $25 M renovation of the Truman Blocker Burn Unit.  Expert care is not limited to burns.  Skin conditions such as toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome and epidermolysis bullosa are also treated, along with aggressive infections.



To date, 203 clinical and research fellows have been trained (162 MDs, 3 MD/PhDs, 25 PhDs, 2 DO, 2 DVMs, 6 MBBSs, 1 FRCS, 1 MBChB, and 1 MS).

Fellows are supported by research fellowships (3 NIH, 2-4 Shrine, 2-4 funded extramurally) and clinical fellowships (3 ACGME accredited, 1 Shrine).


 Outreach Activities

National telemedicine efforts, international telemedicine clinics, international burn conferences, facilitating education through the web.  Established the Burn Research in Texas (BRIT) consortium to facilitate multicenter studies in the burn field.  BRIT members include the largest burn centers in Texas.  Currently, five ongoing multicenter studies include consortia members.



UTMB Galveston/Shriners Hospitals for Children—Galveston has active research programs, strong interdepartmental collaboration, and federal and private grant funding.  In 2014, extramural research funds totaled $27,203,562 (federal, $22,067,585 and private, $5,135,977).  Additional funding includes $3,904,128 from Shriners Hospitals for Children, a $12.5 M endowment from BP (“Remembering the 15”), and other endowments for burn researchers.



Researchers at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Galveston have numerous publications to their credit.  These include peer-reviewed journal articles (1,064 from 2001 to 2014) and books (over 40), one of which (Total Burn Care) is a world-renowned reference for burn care.


Future Directions

◘ Develop action plans for disasters that could occur throughout the region

◘ Provide Advanced Basic Life Support training to county fire departments, emergency rooms & ICUs

◘ Prepare a plan to obtain large amounts of blood and skin quickly

◘ Improve university programs in procurement of skin for skin bank

◘ Improve treatments so that mortality and morbidity are reduced in the very young and very old

◘ Implement use of anabolic agents and exercise programs to speed recovery and rehabilitation

◘ Improve psychological care to promote successful reintegration of patients into society

◘ Implement use of smart medical monitors for automated critical care assessment & treatment


◘ Establish a Texas-wide burn registry.





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