“His health condition has improved a bit. He is also maintaining a steady PCO2 level and the reading of which is at 42 this morning. This is normal for COPD patients.
“He is on ventilator support and his condition remains critical,” a senior official of the hospital where he is undergoing treatment said.
Bhattacharya, 76, was put on mechanical ventilator support at the critical care unit of the private hospital where he was admitted on Wednesday afternoon as his breathing-related problems aggravated. The veteran CPI(M) leader’s oxygen saturation level is at around 90-95 per cent, and he has regained consciousness, the official said.
A senior doctor of the health facility expressed hope of putting Bhattacharjee off the ventilator if he continues responding in such a positive manner.
Bhattacharya tested negative for COVID-19 but the CT scan of his brain showed old lacunar infarcts.
The veteran CPI(M) leader was initially put on non- invasive ventilation (BIPAP) at the hospital after which his oxygen saturation improved to 95 per cent. However, his condition deteriorated on Wednesday evening and he was put on mechanical ventilation.
A five-member team of senior doctors, including a cardiologist and a pulmonologist, was constituted to monitor his health condition.
Bhattacharya, who was the chief minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011, has been suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other old age- related ailments for quite some time.
He has been away from public life for the past few years due to his health. He had stepped down from the CPI(M)’s politburo and the central committee in 2015, and gave up membership of the state secretariat in 2018.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the hospital and enquired about Bhattacharya’s health condition, praying for his quick recovery.