A surgeon from Sierra Leone who was being treated for Ebola at a Nebraska hospital died on Monday, according to the hospital.
Dr Martin Salia, a permanent US resident arrived in Omaha on Saturday, having left Freetown on Friday by air ambulance. He was immediately transported to Nebraska medical center, where he began treatment in the hospital’s bio-containment unit.
Doctors and nurses cared for the ailing surgeon around the clock, the hospital said. At around 4am on Monday Salia’s heart stopped and medical staff were not able to revive him.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news,” Dr Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska medical center, said in a statement. “Dr Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to save him.”
Experts believe early detection and treatment is critical to surviving the disease which has killed nearly 5,200 people, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Salia, 44, was not able to walk off the plane, as other patients brought to the US have been able to do. Instead, he was taken off the plane in an isopod, a special device designed to keep contagion from spreading. He was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.
He was suffering from advanced symptoms of the deadly disease, including kidney and respiratory failure, when he arrived at the Nebraska medical center on Saturday, the hospital said.