Suchitra Sen stable but not out of danger

Kolkata, Jan 12 : Veteran Bengali actress Suchitra Sen is in stable condition but not out of danger after she was put on bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP), a non-invasive positive pressure ventilation measure, doctors said Sunday.

"Yesterday (Saturday), Sen suffered severe breathlessness because of congestion in the lungs for which she had to be intubated. It helped her clear the lungs and we got support of non-invasive ventilation through the tube," said Subrata Maitra, one of the team of experts monitoring her at the Belle Vue Clinic.

"Someone who is in ITU and whose oxygen dependence and requirement is high, needing non-invasive ventilation and intubation cannot be said to be out of danger," he added.

Maitra said a nasogastric feeding tube was inserted to feed the actress in addition to the intravenous fluid she has been receiving since Friday.

"Overall her condition is stable now and we are monitoring as to how she behaves when we remove the tube because we are not planning to keep the tube for long," he said.

Sen's family members have been by her bedside throughout the day and the actress has been communicating through signs and gestures.

"She has been using signs and gestures to communicate, she raised her hand in the affirmative when we asked about inserting the feeding tube," added Maitra.

Sen's fluctuating condition Saturday had prompted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to rush to the nursing home for the third consecutive day. Banerjee again visited the actress Sunday.

On Sunday also, Sen had visitors in the form of state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya and a group of monks from the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission - of which Sen is a disciple.

Following the frequent visits of politicians, including the chief minister, the security in and around the nursing home has been beefed up.

The 82-year-old initially suffered chest infection, and was undergoing treatment for it at the nursing home since Dec 23. Her condition worsened Dec 28 night.

Following complications, Sen was put on the ventilator Jan 3.

Sen, dubbed as Greta Garbo of Bengali cinema, has remained an engima as she has avoided spotlights since her retirement. She gave power-packed performances in highly acclaimed films such as "Deep Jwele Jaai" and "Uttar Falguni" in Bengali as well as Hindi movies "Devdas", "Bombai Ka Babu", "Mamta" and "Aandhi".

She won the best actress award for "Saat Paake Bandha" at the Moscow Film Festival in 1963.

--IANS (Posted on 12-01-2014)

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