• Deepika ‘Break Ke Baad’

    Kolkata, Jan 10: The condition of critically ill Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu, hospitalised with pneumonia, deteriorated Saturday with doctors saying the 95-year-old leader had slipped into drowsiness with the infection affecting multiple organs.

    Anxiety about the health of the former West Bengal chief minister increased with the private AMRI hospital, where Basu is being kept in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) on partial ventilator support, Saturday issuing bulletins on his worsening condition. “There has been deterioration of his general condition,” said the morning bulletin.

    “He has developed fluid retention, and there has been a drop in urine output. He is also feeling drowsy. This signifies involvement of multiple organs,” it said.

    The evening bulletin said there was no change in Basu’s condition with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader’s kidney functioning being closely monitored though the urinary output increased slightly following medication.

    “His condition remains the same. The urinary output has slightly increased because of the medicines given. His kidney condition is under watch,” the bulletin said.

    Executive director D.N. Agarwal said Basu had not undergone dialysis so far, but “If necessary, doctors will decide on this”.

    To a query, Agarwal said the eight-member medical board treating Basu was constantly in touch with specialists in the country’s premier medical facility All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). “Whenever needed, we can contact the respective doctors through e-mail and phone”.

    An attending doctor told reporter that Basu had an irregular heartbeat, while the bulletin said “his cardiac condition remains the same”. With Basu’s blood pressure fluctuating, he was being administered ionotropes to stabilise it.

    Concern was writ large on the faces of CPI-M leaders, who were constantly going in and coming out of the hospital after consultations with doctors. CPI-M secretary Biman Bose, his party comrade and state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee were among those who visited the hospital.

    Addressing a ruling Left Front rally at Barasat in North 24 Parganas, Bhattacharjee said: “Basu is in a critical state. The doctors are treating him in a difficult situation. We all want that he should get well.”

    Bhattacharjee disclosed that Basu did not want to be hospitalised. “But we took no risk and had him admitted on Jan 1.” Basu was admitted to the hospital near his Salt Lake residence following chest congestion and infection and shifted to the ICCU Jan 2. He was put on ventilator support early Jan 6 after an acute respiratory problem.

    A bronchoscopy done on Basu has revealed that the pneumonia attack was aggravated by some highly drug-resistant bacteria strains. After receiving the drug sensitivity report of Basu’s lung fluid culture test. the medicos have decided to continue the same doses of intravenous antibiotics administered to him.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the hospital Thursday and has been monitoring the health condition of the veteran leader.

    Following an offer from the prime minister to arrange for specialists, the medical board held a tele-conference with AIIMS experts Friday.

    Basu holds the record for the longest 23-year old stint as chief minister from June 1977 to November 2000. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds.

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