Significant improvement in Tamil Nadu CM’s health in the last 48 hours, ventilator removed: AIADMK

Panel probing Jayalalithaa death summons Sasikala, Apollo hospitals Chairman

Chennai, october 15: There is a good news for the people of Tamil Nadu that various sources related to Tamil Nadu Chief MInister J Jayalalithaa  have confirmed that her health condition has improved significantly during the last 48 hours, according to AIADMK.

The life supporting ventilator has also been removed on the day time. Only as a precautionary measure, she was on respiratory support only for some time in the night.

Jayalalithaa still continues to be in the Critical Care unit at Apollo Hospital. Apart from antibiotics, nebulisation is also given to relieve congestion.

“We are not so worried any more. We are a lot more relieved,” said a source who is aware of Jayalalithaa’s health and the treatment given.

AIADMK leaders who have access to information from inside the Critical Care unit at Apollo Hospitals also confirm that Jayalalithaa is conscious. “She is also aware of what is happening around her,” says C R Saraswathi, spokesperson of the AIADMK.

The next step of the treatment would be to slowly make her able to move away from the bed and make her sit on a chair. She has been at the hospital for more than three weeks from now. Passive physiotherapy is given by the Apollo hospital is part of the treatment to help her to do this, reports

Despite the improvement, Apollo Hospital and the Tamil Nadu government are fighting shy of announcing it to the world. That is because, there are high chances that an ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) patient even when he or she shows dramatic improvement, is deemed vulnerable.

ARDS as explained in medical terms, is a life-threatening condition. It is characterised by inflammation in the lungs. ARDS is triggered by pneumonia and sepsis, one of the reasons why intensivist Dr Richard Beale, an experienced investigator in the field of sepsis, ARDS and clinical nutrition, was flown in from London to treat the CM. An intensivist by definition is a doctor who specialises in treating critically-ill patients.

Experts point out that ARDS is known to have a high mortality of up to 50 percent. When it is accompanied with other ailments, it only complicates the issue and the treatment. In Jayalalithaa’s case, her diabetes, hypertension and cellulitis — ailments mentioned in her 2014 bail plea at the Karnataka High court — were factors the team of doctors took into account.

“If it was a 30-year-old patient, the body recovers that much faster. Since the CM is 68, she needs that much more care,” said a source.

Given her medical history, doctors are of the opinion that her recovery is remarkable. But they would want to monitor her for some more time as with her diabetes, the risk of secondary infections always exists.

Hospitals, especially Intensive Care Units, are a more risky place for critical patients. That is because hospitals are teeming with virulent bacteria. If an infection is contracted from the community, it requires a basic antibiotic for treatment. But if a patient contracts an infection from the ICU, bacteria is likely to be resistant to basic antibiotics and doctors have to prescribe high-end antibiotics. Such potent antibiotics in high dosage can lead to side effects like diarrhea, renal failure, myopathy and neuropathy.

In order to ensure against any such complication, Jayalalithaa has been kept in a part of the Critical Care unit where no other patient is admitted. This means getting a secondary infection is out of the question.

It is expected that if the CM continues the same pace of progress, she could be out of hospital soon. However, she would still need significant rest, care and physiotherapy for at least two months. It is not clear whether Apollo doctors would prefer Jayalalithaa to rest under their supervision at the hospital or send her home by the end of October.

Doctors, who are visibly relieved now, were not in the same state of mind earlier this week. In fact, the hospital in consultation with Dr Richard Beale and the team of specialists from AIIMS had reportedly decided that if there is a further deterioration in Jayalalithaa’s health, she will be shifted to either AIIMS in New Delhi or to a hospital abroad.

That possibility has now been firmly ruled out. “She will come out like a tigress,” said a source.