After 2nd Ebola Death in US, Doctors Discuss Treatment

Dr. Martin Salia died just two days after arriving at the Nebraska Medical Center.
16:30 | 11/17/14

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Transcript for After 2nd Ebola Death in US, Doctors Discuss Treatment
Doctor Martins Aaliyah who fought to save so many lives sincerely down. Died today from Ebola just two days after arriving at the Nebraska medical center. Well when I'm down Cutler in New York doctor sillier is now the second person to die of the disease in the United States. ABC's Martha Gonzales has the latest. The Ebola Virus claiming another life doctor Martin solely a flown to a specialized hospital in Nebraska this weekend from Sierra Leone in extremely critical condition. With doctors warning he was possibly sicker than the other Ebola patients who were successfully treated there. Where are geared up and ready for you know whatever is coming down the pike. The 44 year old US resident spent much of his time in his native Sierra Leone where he was chief medical officer read a Christian hospital. In April he talked about his motivation to continue the risky work of treating Ebola patients there. I think this job but because I want to but I found that the it was a calling on them all wanted to. It's Aaliyah was infected last week his wife an American citizen who lives in Maryland agreeing to reimburse the US government for his medical and evacuation his son. Holding out hope until the end. He's a very strong guy in motion and he and his because he's strong. And I have no doubt that you Cuomo victorious from every disease of sickness. And despite progress fighting a bullet in Liberia more cases are being reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone where doctor so Leah was working. There are also growing concerns about the spread of the virus and other West African countries. Because of that travelers coming into the US from Molly well now face extra health screening. RC Gonzales ABC news New York. And tiger's news conference under way at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where doctors Julio was being treated let's listen. It is way it's extremely heavy hearts. That we announce this morning that our patient doctor Marten Sadia. Passed away earlier this morning. From the advanced stages of Ebola Virus infection. Our thoughts and prayers are what's everybody in the Sally a family. As well as his colleagues and friends during this incredibly difficult time. We want to personally thank director Sally his family for putting their trust in us especially since doctor Sallyann has only been with us for a short period of time following his arrival late Saturday afternoon. The dozens of staff members who cared for our patients are all taking this very hard. They put forth a truly heroic effort during the time that he was with our care. In addition the outpouring of grief and support for his family. And for our staff. Literally from across the nation and around the world has been remarkable. Including all of our former patients. People in Washington State headquarters side except truck. We use the maximum amount not supportive care. And every advanced technique of Val well in an effort to save his life. We are very very sorry that the outcome wasn't the one that we at all wished for. I would like to extend our profound gratitude to the remarkable professional staff who gave their all in this heroic effort. Our focus. On extraordinary care. As well as the global educational and we're search elements is truly remarkable. It is the standard for quality. And it is an inspiration for all. The Ebola Virus infection is obviously an extremely deadly disease. We are reminded today. That he even though this was the best possible place for a patient with this virus to be. That in the very advanced stages. Even the most modern techniques that we have at our disposal. Are not enough to help these patients once they reach are critical threshold. The focus needs to remain. With the global and to sis on prevention. As well as early diagnosis. And treatment. Before I turn it over to our panel I'm reminded of the words a Theodore Roosevelt who said. It is far better. To dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs. Even though checkered by failure. Then to rank with those poor spirits. Who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat and quote. It is my pleasure now to turn this overt to Dr. Phil Smith who then introduced the other panelists doctor Dan Johnson. Doctor Chris crowd of L. And mist rose on a Morris doctor Smith's. Thank you Kessler and Dr. Phil Smith medical director of the Bob containment unit at UN MC. As the chancellor told you this morning about 4 AM doctor Martin salie. Its position it they surgeon in fact from Cyril lay on. Died from. She was admitted to our falcon came in after a long trip from Africa. Late Saturday afternoon. He arrived in very critical condition. Despite a that we had nurses and doctors working literally around the clock to try to reverse his condition but were unable to do so. Even knowing it's only here 36 hours or cuts no Sammy very well wonderful family as such is life. And we have great respect and admiration for the way they conducted themselves and we extend to them RD percent to see him. Tonight introduced doctor Dan Johnson are critical care medicine must outstanding in their support. Doctor salie and I'd ask doctor. Johnson to give us a few but points about some of those supportive measures they used. Has doctor. Smith alluded to and as the reports in the media have shown that doctors so Leo was extremely critical real when he arrived to our hospital. He has had no kidney function. He was working extremely hard to breeze. And he was unresponsive. Within the first few hours of his arrival we started running continuous down assessed. And within the first not twelve hours he'd have progress to complete respiratory failure. I requiring high and tradition and mechanical ventilation. Shortly thereafter he developed severely low blood pressure and required multiple agents at very high doses to maintain even a marginal. Blood pressure. In this setting and in the setting of multiple treatments for specific for Ebola Virus disease. And despite the amazing care of our nurses and respiratory therapists. He progressed to the point of cardiac arrests and now we weren't able to it to get interest. I'm. Touching turnaround for a doctor Smith and doctor called it says is right on the money that we just. This really really gave it everything we turn to tall modern medical therapies were. Provided and now we wish there could have been a different outcome. But I'm also proud of the team for what Terry Walter two trapped between turner doctor kind of illness. One other roles and an academic health center and it is a valuation and implementation of research interventions. As you know there are no approved treatments for Ebola. So one of the things that we did early on in. And their word to research interventions that we were able to implement in the care of doctor Sally him. One was the amount and that's. An intervention that we were able to obtain. And that was initiate is Saturday evening. The other is convalescent plasma. And as you know convalescent plasma is also new is. And it's taken from individuals who have survived Ebola. And we think kid may have a role in potentially treating individuals let's Ebola. And those are the two interventions that were implemented on Saturday. Shortly after his arrival. President. Good morning my name is Rosanna Morris and chief nursing officer and chief operating officer here at Nebraska Mattison. And on behalf of the entire team I want to share that it was an absolute honor. To care for doctor Sallyann. The team is on wavered in their commandment to provide the highest level of care in an invention for these patients. I had the I had the pleasure in the honor of interacting with mr. Sallyann over the past when you four hours. She is an incredibly strong stoic. Brave individual. Who. Really I think taught us a lot about someone going to the circumstances. And was so appreciative. I think there's times here. I want to saying. Our local heroes who took care of us global hero. These past few days they did a remarkable job. And their work was second to none thank you. Will continue to monitor the news conference this happening at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where this morning doctor Martin Saleh had passed away from the Ebola Virus. He had sought treatment there Saturday after arriving from Sierra Leone that is where he contracted the of the virus. And now at this point hospital and medical staffers are trying to determine exactly how he contracted the virus. As it had progressed into some very late stages of that I wanna bring in our chief health and medical. Editor doctor Richard bastard to talk more about this particular case and doctor -- this is now the second person to die of Ebola Virus in the United States and its houses that. Doctor saw you move was fairly advanced. In this in this disease. In this is the first time. We we've heard of any patient coming here with with a bowl infection who was already in kidney failure and respiratory failure. We know that the Ebola Virus can attack many different organ systems one of them is the kidneys one another's is is though that deliver. But when you hear that a patient's kidneys are not working. And that they're not able to breathe on their own that's a very very. In critical condition and and it's very hard to take a patient back from that and and have them survive. One of the things that's being discussed it in this news conference was the actual timing of when he started to experience symptoms. When he first was tested and then when he tested positive in fact for it. There seems to be sent some some time lapse from that first test which was November 7 which is what we just heard in that news conference and then a final confirming test. On the tenth of November. Is it cannot indicative it is the complexity of this virus. Well this is something did that we've seen before with the with a bowl doctor Kent Bradley his initial test was was negative his follow up was was positive. And what reflects is that early on in me infection the amount of virus in your blood is is quite low that's why early on patients are not very contagious. But a bit when you do that test it's it it's a in a patient in whom you really suspect infection you have to retest them about three days into it they did that with with doctor Saudia and that's when his test was positive. What are the questions that was discussed or abroad for this news conferences today was what is the threshold than for transference from one. From Sierra Leone here to the United States to what are those for units those four as specialized treatment facilities here in the United States. Is it surprising that we're still having this discussion well I. I think did that it it's clear that dead Americans. Who are sick with the ball up. Or in this case that permanent resident Mary Tillman in American. They should be given every chance possible and should come to America if that's possible for for treatment and then that was done here. We haven't heard how he was treated during those early days so even if he was not testing positive for Ebola if you is losing a lot of fluids. You would hope that he was getting intravenous fluids to replace that and we haven't heard that that's that story yet. One of the things with the Ebola infection that is so critically important. There we're learning here is as a doctors here managing these patients. Is the management of that fluid and if you're not able to replace that just the dehydration from loss of of fluid. Can be a condition that from which patients can't come back from so it'll be important to know. How they manage that weather in the future patients can be managed in a way that will improve their their chances. Doctor saw it was just recently promoted to chief medical officer accuracy united Methodist Hospital. What do we know then it has the hospital done since the diagnosis. It. Vivid description of him in the press conference was as a global hero and I think that's that they're the right phrased it to use for him here is. A surgeon who is dedicated his life to taking care of people. In one of the poorest parts of of the world he he comes from Sierra Leone but his family is here. And he could have chosen to practice medicine in in many different places but he's practicing it there. What you'll see in a hospital after someone has gotten infected is an attempt to determine how did they get sick 88 in addition to working in that hospital as chief surgeon he also worked in several other locations. So they'll be trying to determine where he contracted a bola. And are the things they can be done to reduce the chances of other health care workers getting sick. One thing that that may be counterintuitive to people is that. When you hear about doctors getting infected with the bowl in this part of the world. One of the riskiest places isn't the bullet treatment here it's in these other hospitals where patients come in. We've many different types of conditions and you don't know who could be infected and who is not. You're not wearing all of the protective gear that you would Wear if you were amenable to treatment unit and took a much risk you're setting for all health care workers and on that international picture then you the US now screen travelers from West African countries Liberia Guinea Sierra Leone. And now Molly. Has been added to the list explain the situation there. BO Molly is is one of one of the of the poorest countries in in West Africa it has a very weak public health system. And last month we heard about a young child would traveled. From Guinea in Somali and was diagnosed with a bullet and they traced down all the contacts of the of that patient and thankfully they were able to prevent further spread. Of of evolve from that patient. However recently there's been another case another cluster of disease related to a religious leader who came to Molly. And was that was it was it was ill was not diagnosed with a bowl and when he died. He was given a traditional ceremonial burial and as a result of that case. They've been several cases of a bully and Molly and a lot of people who now need to be tracked down. This is very concerning and so the US is now starting to screen travelers from Molly as well because of concern. That that data bullet disease is not under control in that country. ABC's chief health and medical editor doctor Richard best deduct best thanks so much appreciated. You can keep up with this story in real time Mike Allen and ABC news and start a story for exclusive updates on the go. For now. I'm down perhaps learn New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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