Update: Condition Of Patient With Ebola Continues To Improve

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The Nebraska Medical Center released the following statement today about SIM missionary Dr. Rick Sacra:

Omaha, Neb. – Doctors caring for Dr. Rick Sacra, the man who contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in West Africa say his condition continues to improve.

“We’re pleased with his progress,” said Phil Smith, MD, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center. “His lab values are improving and he’s becoming more alert and interactive. We continue to be encouraged by what we’re seeing up to this point.”

Dr. Sacra’s family members tell doctors they’re starting to see more of his personality emerge each day. “He’s kind of becoming his normal self,” said Angela Hewlett, MD, associate medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center. “Family members continue to speak with Dr. Sacra on a regular basis via video conference and that’s a big help for both the patient and his family.”

The staff caring for Dr. Sacra is also faring well. “Everyone has been positive and upbeat,” said Shelly Schwedhelm, director of ED, trauma and emergency preparedness at The Nebraska Medical Center. “Everyone has been able to get some much-needed rest and we’re making sure everyone is taking good care of themselves as well as Dr. Sacra.”

Schwedhelm said staff members continue to come forward who want to volunteer to work in the unit. “We’re looking to add more members to the team caring for Dr. Sacra,” said Schwedhelm. “It’s been encouraging to see that trend and it’s extremely helpful to be able to add even more depth to the unit.

With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center has earned J.D. Power and Associates’ Hospital of Distinction award for inpatient services for three consecutive years. It also received the 2007 Consumer Choice Award, a mark of patient satisfaction as selected by healthcare consumers and has achieved Magnet recognition status for nursing excellence, Thomson 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader recognition, as well as the Award of Progress from the state of Nebraska’s Edgerton Quality Awards Program. As the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this 689 licensed bed academic medical center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation services and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at www.nebraskamed.com

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu and follow us on social media.

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