Dr. Martin Salia is placed on a stretcher upon his arrival at the Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit in Omaha, Nebraska, November 15, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Brian C. Frank
Dr. Martin Salia is placed on a stretcher upon his arrival at the Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit in Omaha, Nebraska, November 15, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Brian C. Frank

(Reuters) – A surgeon from Sierra Leone being treated for Ebola in a Nebraska hospital on Saturday was critically ill after being airlifted back from Africa, medical officials said.

Dr. Martin Salia, 44, a permanent U.S. resident, caught the disease while working as a surgeon in a Freetown hospital, according to his family.

Doctors at the Nebraska hospital said his condition was extremely critical. He had been stable enough to take a flight from West Africa to Omaha but was too sick to walk off the plane, medical officials said.

“We will do everything humanly possible to help him fight this disease,” Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center, said in a statement. “This is an hour-by-hour situation.”

Upon arrival Salia was transferred to a waiting ambulance in an isolation unit called an ISOPOD, a device used in the transportation of a potentially infectious patient, a hospital official said.

Written by: KATIE KNAPP SCHUBERT – continue at REUTERS

 

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