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Speedy delivery: Nebraska State Patrol transports life-saving drug when flight wasn't an option

Posted at 12:30 PM, May 30, 2018

When sky conditions prohibited immediate air transport of a urgently needed life-saving drug from UNMC to a child in Colorado, the Nebraska State Patrol stepped in, coordinating an effort to transport the drug as far west as possible.

After 10 p.m. Tuesday, NSP was transporting a drug called Impavido — which helps treat Naegleria Fowleri, which is also known as the "brain-eating amoeba" — from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to the Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo. 



Troopers drove the drug to North Platte since the skies were not clear enough to fly in eastern Nebraska. Once in North Platte a plane took the drug to the Centennial, Colo., airport where it was transported to the hospital at about 2 a.m. Central time.

Officials said later that the child did not have the "brain-eating amoeba," but the drug was administered because of how quickly the rare disease can spread; it has a 97-percent risk of death if contracted. Only four people in the U.S. have survived the parasite.

"We try to look at it from the perspective of what would we want the state patrol to do for us if we were that family in that situation? When you put things in that perspective and you use that empathy as your measuring stick it's amazing how all the resources come together and ultimately do the right thing," said Lt. Matt Sutter with the Nebraska State Patrol.

The child was brought to Denver from Wyoming and may have been in a hot spring before they believe the symptoms started.