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Sen condition fluctuates

Suchitra Sen suffered respiratory distress almost all of Thursday as doctors said her condition was “fluctuating”.

The 82-year-old screen icon, “weak and drowsy”, hardly ate on Thursday.

The actress who has lived as a recluse for over three decades had a special evening visitor — Mamata Banerjee, who spent around 20 minutes in her ITU cabin. The chief minister had earlier visited her on Sunday evening.

“I’ve named her Magic Mamata — she’s good for Ma,” Moon Moon Sen, who has hardly left her mother’s bedside, later said.

While leaving Belle Vue Clinic at 9.10pm, Mamata told reporters: “She is sleeping now. I think she is all right but you ask the doctor.”

The doctors said low food intake was a concern. “She is stable but not out of danger. She has been advised more protein for greater intake of calories so that the general strength increases and she is able to cough out the secretion in the lungs,” said critical care expert Subrata Maitra, who is leading a team of doctors.

The doctors are not trying intravenous supply of nutrition as this could raise her blood sugar levels. They have also ruled out feeding her through a tube.

Sen, at Belle Vue since December 23, is on non-invasive ventilation intermittently.

“Although her cardiac condition continues to remain stable, her oxygen saturation level dipped last evening. With intensive chest physiotherapy, it has stabilised again. In view of her poor food intake, she is weak and her dietary therapy has been intensified. She is being seen by two pulmonologists on a daily basis,” the medical bulletin issued by Belle Vue at 1pm said.

Sen underwent three sessions of chest physiotherapy during the day but that gave her only temporary relief.

One good news was that she could be put on the bi-pap (non invasive ventilator) for 45 minutes continuously, to improve the oxygen saturation level in the blood and help her breathe easy.