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Monday, November 17, 2014

Another physician victim of Ebola - tremendous loss to humanitarian efforts

When a physician or nurse dies of Ebola, as a result of treating people with the virus, thier loss is magnified by the number of desperate people who are impacted by the decline in numbers of medical caregivers, those who are qualified to provide treatment.

Medscape article:

Sierra Leone surgeon Martin Salia, MD, died of Ebola this morning November 16, 2014, after being airlifted to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha on November 15 for treatment, the hospital announced.

"Dr Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him," said Phil Smith, MD, director of the center's biocontainment unit, in a news release. Dr Salia was already experiencing kidney and respiratory failure on arrival.

The hospital said Dr Salia was placed on dialysis and a ventilator. He received a dose of convalescent plasma andZMapp (Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc) therapy.

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

The 44-year-old Dr Salia was the chief medical officer at United Methodist Church Kissy General Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He also treated patients at other medical facilities in Freetown, according to the church's news agency. United Methodist News said it was not clear where and how Dr. Salia contracted the Ebola virus.

A legal permanent resident of the United States, Dr Salia leaves behind a wife, Isatu Salia, and two children.

Nebraska Medical Center is one of four US hospitals with special biocontainment units designed for deadly infectious diseases such as Ebola. Two other patients with Ebola have been treated there and discharged virus-free.
Tragically, the world has lost another physician who had the capacity to heal thousands of other people. God Bless his efforts.

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