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Soumitra Chatterjee: Bengali Actor’s Platelet Count Remains Low, Health Condition Stable

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Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee‘s health condition is currently stable, although his platelet count remains low, say doctors treating him at the Belle Vue Hospital in Kolkata.

Chatterjee has been admitted at the hospital since the first week of October after testing positive for Covid-19. According to doctors, the 85-year-old actor will undergo tracheostomy on Wednesday.

“His renal functions have taken a toll due to volume loss and some of the antibiotics that are not kidney-friendly. We have to get rid of the additional fluid and improve the renal function. We have decided on plasmapheresis and tracheostomy, which have been accepted by his family members, as a long-term care management,” Arindam Kar, who is leading the team of doctors in charge of treating Chatterjee, said on Sunday.

Tracheostomy is a medical procedure that enables air to enter the lungs through a tube placed in a person’s windpipe.

A team of medical professionals sent by the West Bengal government visited Chatterjee on Monday to take stock of his health condition.

“Both teams concluded that the actor would benefit from tracheostomy. Plasmapheresis should be tried as this is the only thing that was not done to improve the encephalopathy, provided it can be safely done on him in the backdrop of a low platelet count, which is the major challenge now,” Dr Kar said.

Plasmapheresis allows doctors to remove potentially harmful antibodies from blood plasma and return healthy blood cells to the body.

State government representatives comprised Ashutosh Mukherjee, Biman Roy and Sutradhar. They also met the actor’s daughter Poulami Bose.

According to Dr Kar, a review from the neurology team is being awaited, after which the decision to check his cerebrospinal fluid and/or repeat electroencephalogram (a method to record electrical activity of the brain) will be taken. The Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner actor tested negative on October 14, but doctors say his neurological system was affected due to the infection.

The Padma Bhushan awardee is renowned for several collaborations with Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray. The duo has worked together in 14 films, including the Apu Trilogy and Feluda series. The duo was considered to be of the same stature as Scorsese-Dicaprio, and Scorsese-DeNiro.

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