Third Ebola Patient Dies

Published February 22, 2017

The third patient with the Ebola virus to be treated at Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Martin Salia, has regretfully passed away as a result of his disease.

"It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news," said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the hospital's academic partner. "Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him."

Dr. Salia was suffering from advanced symptoms of Ebola when he arrived at the hospital Saturday, which included kidney and respiratory failure. He was placed on dialysis, a ventilator and multiple medications to support his organ systems in an effort to help his body fight the disease. He also received a dose of convalescent plasma and ZMapp therapy was initiated on Saturday.

"We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival," said Dr. Smith. "As we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Salia's case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment."

"We're very grateful for the efforts of the team led by Dr. Smith," said Isatu Salia, Dr. Salia's wife. "In the short time we spent here, it was apparent how caring and compassionate everyone was. We are so appreciative of the opportunity for my husband to be treated here and believe he was in the best place possible."

"Every member of the team has been personally affected by Dr. Salia's passing," concluded Shelly Schwedhelm, nursing director of the Biocontainment Unit. "While losing any patient is always extremely difficult, although our effort here was brief, everyone gave every ounce of effort they had. The collective feeling of loss has been overwhelming."

Members of our team plan to speak to the media Monday morning. More information will be available soon."