Baton Rouge General Updates Condition of Gulf Explosion Patients; Welcomes Philippine Ambassador


Baton Rouge, La. – Baton Rouge General and its Regional Burn Center conducted a press conference today at 3 p.m. at its Mid City campus to update the world on the status of its four patients injured in the Gulf explosion that occurred last Friday. In addition, dignitaries and hospital officials welcomed His Excellency Jose Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador to Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC, and the Chicago-based Deputy Consulate to His Excellency, Orontes Castro, to the Baton Rouge community.

Bill Holman, President and CEO, thanked the community and offered messages of support and compassion to our patients and their loved ones and families affected by the tragedy on behalf of Mayor Kip Holden, Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D., Drs. Flip Roberts, Chief Medical Officer, Ernest Mencer, Medical Director of the Burn Center, Jeffrey Littleton, Burn Surgeon and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Evelyn Hayes, Vice Chairman of Baton General’s Board of Trustees, Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer and current Baton Rouge General Board Member, and Anna Cazes, Chief Nursing Officer.

Dr. Roberts provided updates on the patients who have been in the hospital’s Regional Burn Center over the last four days and are hopeful about their course of treatment. All four remain in the critical window of time that follows major burn injuries.

Three patients’ conditions remain unchanged, two patients remain in critical condition, one patient remains in serious condition, and one patient, Wilberto Illagan, age 50, has demonstrated improvement and is in good condition.

Ilagan stated this morning, “Tell my countrymen to pray for us and our quick recovery... And that our caregivers are always with us, and they are very kind to us.”

Today and in the coming days, the clinical focus surrounds maintaining the airways, IV fluid hydration, nutritional support, and local wound care. Following this critical window of time, rehabilitation and recovery could extend a prolonged period of time in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The normal course for treating patients suffering major burns includes wound care, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy and possible surgical intervention such as skin grafts.

Mayor Holden introduced Ambassador Cuisia, who expressed gratitude to the medical team at Baton Rouge General for taking care of his fellow countrymen. He thanked the doctors, nurses and other members of the hospital staff for their assistance and special care and attention.

Baton Rouge General will provide updates online at and at facebook/batonrougegeneral.

For media inquiries for the Philippine Ambassador to Washington, DC contact the Ambassador Press and Information Officer at (646) 961-7416.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center Burn Center

Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center opened in July of 1970, providing a unique service dedicated to care and treatment of burn victims in the Gulf Coast region. It was the first designated burn facility in Louisiana, 14th in the nation, and is one of only 125 specialized burn centers in the U.S. The Burn Center provides more than 3,000 treatments for adults and children each year suffering from flame, scald, electrical, chemical and other burn-related injuries and continues to achieve the highest standards for providing exceptional inpatient and outpatient care, rehabilitation and support services.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center is a full-service community hospital, with 544 licensed beds between two campuses. As the first hospital in Baton Rouge, opening its doors in 1900, Baton Rouge General has a long history of groundbreaking milestones, as well as providing the Greater Baton Rouge community with high quality healthcare for generations.

Baton Rouge General is affiliated with and also serves as a satellite campus of Tulane University School of Medicine. In addition to serving as a satellite campus for Tulane medical students in the LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Discovery) Academy program, Baton Rouge General also offers a Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Sports Medicine Fellowship Program, School of Nursing and School of Radiologic Technology. Baton Rouge General, an accredited teaching hospital since 1991, is committed to exceptional medical education and serves a diverse population that is representative of the types of patients, injuries, illnesses and healthcare needs most frequently seen by physicians in private practice.