The Telegraph
Sunday , January 5 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Suchitra better but critical

Calcutta, Jan. 4: @raimasen: My grandma is better.. Thank you for your prayers.. Keep praying :)

This tweet from Raima about Suchitra Sen was the brightest piece of news emerging from Belle Vue Clinic after two days of anxiety as the screen icon’s condition “improved slightly”.

But the doctors treating the 82-year-old, who has lived as a recluse for three decades, were quick to clarify that her condition continued to remain critical.

“Her condition stabilised but she continues to be critical. The oxygen saturation level in her blood is fluctuating and so she is requiring non-invasive ventilation intermittently to maintain the lungs’ capacity to breathe,” said critical care expert Subrata Maitra, who is leading a team of doctors to treat Suchitra.

He added that there was accumulation of “excessive secretion in her lungs” and she underwent “physiotherapy of the chest” in the morning to clear the congestion. “The non-invasive ventilation is providing support to the lung muscles in the breathing process. This is helping the muscles to relax, which is vital,” he said.

The 82-year-old had “tea and light breakfast” in the morning with daughter Moon Moon Sen by her side. Moon Moon was at Belle Vue almost round the clock, and her daughters Raima and Riya were regular visitors. Suchitra later had a “light lunch” of vegetable stew.

Suchitra was admitted to Belle Vue on the night of December 23 with acute chest infection and last Sunday, she was shifted from a private room to the ITU. Her condition had turned critical yesterday with severe breathing problem, prompting doctors to bring in the bi-pap, a non-invasive ventilator, to boost the oxygen supply.

“Her medical condition has stabilised…. However, her oxygen saturation is still fluctuating continuously, necessitating intermittent non-invasive ventilation. Her vital parameters like heart rate and blood pressure are satisfactory,” read a medical bulletin issued by Belle Vue Clinic at 1pm today.

Pulmonologists Dhiman Ganguly and Pawan Agarwal examined Suchitra for the second successive day as she was undergoing physiotherapy of the chest to help clear the lungs. “Doctors have ruled out putting her on an invasive ventilator for the time being,” a source said.

Suchitra is being administered antibiotics to reduce the chest infection. Efforts are on to control her high blood sugar level.