Suchitra Sen went into non-cooperation mode on Thursday and conveyed to the doctors that she would not allow treatment as long as she was confined to her hospital bed.
This led to a deterioration in the screen icon’s health condition in the afternoon as the oxygen saturation level in her blood dropped, forcing doctors at Belle Vue Clinic to put her on non-invasive ventilation.
“She seemed to be switching off. As if the hospital ordeal had really got to her and all she wanted was to go back home. This is a form of treatment fatigue bordering on depression,” said a source.
Sen, 82, has been in Belle Vue since December 23 and in the ITU since December 27.
“She told daughter Moon Moon and granddaughters Riya and Raima to take her back home. She also told doctors that she wouldn’t allow treatment if they didn’t send her home,” added the source.
She only allowed to be fed through the Ryles tube.
Sen’s refusal to undergo chest physiotherapy or allow the bi-pap machine (non-invasive ventilator that supplies oxygen to the lungs) and even medicines have become a big problem for the team of doctors treating her.
“She was weak and drowsy but did not allow blood to be drawn for pathological tests. The carbon dioxide saturation in the blood crept up and things could have turned critical in the evening without emergency steps to push up her oxygen saturation levels,” the source said.
According to sources, her oxygen saturation level dipped below 80 (out of 100), prompting doctors to put Sen on bi-pap for seven minutes. But then she insisted that it be discontinued.
“She seems really upset with the discomfort and pain that she is having to undergo because of sustained treatment,” said a doctor.
In the evening, chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited Sen and spent time with her team of doctors. Mamata arrived at 6.35pm and left at 8.05pm.
After she left, the doctors went into a huddle to try and chalk out the next plan of action, factoring in the resistance that their star patient was putting up.
“The doctors are trying to find out a way to provide the treatment and support that she needs. Otherwise, her condition can turn critical very fast,” said a source.
Her family members along with doctors tried to persuade her throughout the day to have medicines and undergo tests.
Finally, in the afternoon, Sen allowed doctors to conduct some blood tests that revealed the increase in carbon dioxide saturation levels.
Then she allowed doctors to administer medicine intravenously, the source said.
Moon Moon, once again, was by her mother’s side throughout the day. Raima and Riya spent a long time with their grandmother. Their father Bharat Dev Varma also visited his mother-in-law in the afternoon. All three left at 2.20pm.
The two sisters returned to Belle Vue at 5.05 pm.
“Unless she allows to be put on the bi-pap for long stretches, her condition will worsen because her lungs are not capable of breathing in enough oxygen required for the vital organs to function,” warned a doctor.