Baton Rouge General Regional Burn Center Surgeon Updates Condition of Gulf Explosion Patient


Baton Rouge, La. – Baton Rouge General and its Regional Burn Center conducted a press conference today at 10 a.m. at its Mid City campus to update the world on the status of its four patients injured in the Gulf explosion that occurred Friday morning.

Dr. Flip Roberts, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Jeffrey Littleton, Burn Surgeon and Chair of the Department of Surgery, provided updates on behalf of the Burn Center team. The two physicians expressed heartfelt concerns to everyone affected by this tragedy. The physicians thanked the community and the world for the hundreds of messages of support and kindness that have been expressed to our patients and their return to health.

Dr. Littleton and his multidisciplinary burn team have been caring for four male patients, who arrived Friday afternoon, as a result of the explosion. All four patients are native to the Philippines and employed by Grand Isle Shipyard. Baton Rouge General continues working very closely with the Grand Isle Shipyard to communicate with their families.

The patients remain in the critical window of time that follows major burn injuries and are continuing on normal courses of treatment.

Two patients remain in critical condition; one patient remains in serious condition, and one patient, Wilberto Ilagan, age 50, has demonstrated progress and is in fair condition. All these patients are considered to have major burns.

In a conversation with Dr. Littleton, Ilagan requested that the following be shared with the world, “To my relatives, to my family, and to my country, I am alive and in good health. I am burned, but my heart and lungs are healthy.”

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 to both the 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.

Baton Rouge General will provide updates online at and at facebook/batonrougegeneral, with details on the next press conference posted later today.

Anyone attempting to locate a loved one who may have been a victim of yesterday’s incident can contact Black Elk Energy’s hotline at (281) 779-8459 or Grand Isle Shipyard at (985) 475-5238.

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 cares for more than 3,000 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.