Josep Trueta

Josep Trueta i Raspall (27 October 1897 – 19 January 1977) was a Catalan surgeon and researcher.

Josep Trueta
Doctor trueta.png
Born27 October 1897
Barcelona, Spain
Died19 January 1977(1977-01-19) (aged 79)
Barcelona, Spain
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford

As a Catalan nationalist, he fled into exile to England after the Spanish Civil War, during which he had been the chief of trauma services for the main hospital in Barcelona. In 1939 a booklet of his, first published in Catalan, was published in English as Treatment of War Wounds and Fractures, with special reference to the Closed Method as used in the war in Spain, in London. His work was noted and accepted by the British RAMC, thus influencing British Army medical practice.[1] During World War II, he helped to organize medical emergency services. His use of a new plaster cast method for the treatment of open wounds and fractures helped save a great number of lives and still more limbs, during several wars.

Trueta formed part of a group of Catalans exiled in the United Kingdom who denounced the situation of Catalonia in Francoist Spain. He wrote The Spirit of Catalonia, a book aimed at explaining Catalan history to English-speaking society.

He joined the team run by Florey and Chain that developed penicillin in Oxford, and held the first live animal to be injected with the groundbreaking antibiotic.

From 1949 to 1966 he was the third Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Oxford and directed the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (previously the Wingfield-Morris Hospital).[2]

On his retirement in 1966, he returned to Catalonia with his wife Amèlia. Both were buried (in 1977 and 1975 respectively) in Santa Cristina d'Aro.

The main hospital of Girona was named after him, as are streets in many towns across Catalonia. Every year the government of Catalonia awards Trueta medals and plaques to professionals and institutions that excel in the Catalan medical field.

Monument to Trueta in Barcelona


  1. ^ Watts, Lt Col J. C. Surgeon at War London 1955 p.18
  2. ^ "Nuffield Professors of Orthopaedic Surgery". Retrieved 11 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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