MOSCOW, November 18 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — A Sierra Leonean doctor’s death has resulted from a treatment delay according to Nebraska Medical Center doctors. Dr. Martin Salia was admitted to an Omaha hospital 13 days after contracting the deadly Ebola virus.
"A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone did not receive aggressive treatment until nearly two weeks after he first started showing symptoms — a delay that doctors said probably made it impossible for anyone to save his life," the Associated Press reported.
Full treatment delay has made it impossible to save the Sierra Leonean surgeon, although Dr. Salia was placed "on kidney dialysis and a ventilator" and received an Ebola survivor's blood transfusion immediately after he having been admitted to the medical center, the Associated Press reports citing Nebraska hospital specialists. He was also given ZMapp, the experimental Ebola medicine.
Martin Salia initially tested negative for Ebola in Sierra Leone. The second test, carried out three days later indicated the surgeon had contracted the deadly virus. However, Dr. Salia had to wait another five days before being transferred to Nebraska Medicine, a US medical center equipped with special biocontainment units. The delay in full treatment proved fatal for the Sierra Leonean doctor: the disease seriously damaged Dr. Salia’s kidneys and he suffered from breathing difficulties.
Dr. Phil Smith, who treated Dr. Rick Sacra and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, two American Ebola patients that successfully overcame the disease, confirmed that his team used every possible treatment in order to save Martin Salia's life. "Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him," he said as cited by NBC News.
"We used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival. 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," Dr. Smith stressed.
According to the Associated Press, Sierra Leonean government officials have claimed they would conduct a thorough investigation of Martin Salia's case. "At this point, we can't say for certain whether it was this misdiagnosis or not that led to his death," Deputy Information Minister Theo Nicol said, as quoted by the media source.
The Sierra Leonean doctor's death is the second lethal Ebola case in the US. Meanwhile, the deadly virus has already killed more than 5,000 in West Africa.