Suchitra Sen suffered a bout of respiratory distress on Wednesday afternoon, prompting prolonged chest physiotherapy that helped improve her condition in the evening, sources said.
The 82-year-old screen icon, being treated at Belle Vue Clinic since December 23, continued to be on antibiotics and non-invasive ventilation intermittently.
She ate little through the day, which a source said was a cause of concern for doctors.
“Around 4pm, she complained of breathing problem. This was caused by lung congestion,” said a source, adding that Sen felt better after the physiotherapy.
Her blood tests revealed no infection.
Sen underwent three sessions of physiotherapy on Wednesday for removal of secretion from her lungs.
According to sources, she could not be put on bi-pap (non-invasive ventilation) for a long stretch on Wednesday as she complained of discomfort.
“The bi-pap has a mask that covers the mouth and the nose. Sen should be on non-invasive ventilation for at least an hour twice or thrice a day. But today she was not able to take it at a stretch as she was feeling uncomfortable with the mask on,” said a source.
Longer periods of ventilation would have improved the blood oxygen saturation level and she could have been able to breathe better.
Sen, who was admitted to the nursing home with acute chest infection, has been in the intensive therapy unit (ITU) since December 29, when she was shifted there from a private room.
A medical bulletin issued by Belle Vue at 1pm had stated that her condition was stable.
“The medical condition of Suchitra Sen continues to remain stable. Her oxygen saturation has stabilised to some extent with the help of physiotherapy, non-invasive ventilation and continuous oxygen therapy. The cardiac condition is also satisfactory. She is having light diet as prescribed,” the bulletin stated.
Sen has lived the life of a recluse for over three decades in her Ballygunge Circular Road apartment. She lifted the veil of secrecy on Sunday evening by allowing chief minister Mamata Banerjee to visit her and spend almost half an hour by her ITU bedside.