Suchitra Sen, the legendary Bengali actress who is being treated at the Intensive Therapy Unit of a city nursing home following serious respiratory problems, continues to be critical but stable, a medical bulletin said Monday.
Sen, whose condition has been see-sawing since she was admitted to the Belle Vue Clinic three weeks back, "was conscious and communicating with her relatives through gesture".
The doctors during the day removed the endo-tracheal tube that was inserted Saturday after her condition worsened because of the congestion in the lungs.
"Her endo-tracheal tube has been taken out after a thread-bare discussion among the team members. Since the withdrawal of the E.T. Tube her oxygen saturation is satisfactory. Although stable, she is critically ill," the bulletin said.
Critical care specialist Subrata Maitra, a member of the seven-member medical team treating the actress, said they took Sen's family's permission before removing the tube.
"We studied the pros and cons and with the consent of the family members, took out the tube. We feel we have achieved the maximum benefit that we could have got out of the tube," said Maitra.
"We were a bit concerned about the implications of removing the tube. But one-and-a-half-hour after removing the tube, her oxygen saturation level is satisfactory. So, in the initial stage, our move has been successful," said Maitra.
The doctors were planning to do chest physiotherapy to clear the congestion.
Sen's heart rate was occasionally fluctuating, though "in general it remains in normal rhythm with satisfactory blood pressure readings".
She was being fed through ryles tube "and is tolerating the process well," the doctor said.
Sen's actress daughter Moon Moon and son-in-law are beside her bed. Her grand daughters - actresses Riya and Raima - are also at the nursing home.
Leader of the opposition and Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra visited the hospital Monday morning and enquired about her condition from the doctors.
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 non-invasive ventilation Jan 3.
Sen, dubbed as Greta Garbo of Bengali cinema, has remained an enigma as she has avoided the spotlight 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.