There was no significant improvement in the condition of Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu, on partial ventilator support in a hospital here with pneumonia, a medical bulletin said on Friday.
A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered to arrange for expert doctors for Basu's treatment, the AMRI hospital treating the critically ill leader decided to opt for a video conference with specialists at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
"Last night, there was an episode of irregularity of heartbeat. This was treated adequately. There has been no significant improvement in his condition, and he continues to be on partial ventilation support," the bulletin issued around 12.45 p.m. said.
"The medical board has decided to have a video conference with specialists of AIIMS to have their opinion for further management," the bulletin said.
"We are trying to do it as early as possible, It may be done today (Friday) also. But first we have to be sure about the type of specialists needed. Depending on the schedule of the AIIMS doctors and their availability, we will do the video conference," AMRI hospital medical superintendent D.N. Agarwal told reporters.
Former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who called on Basu Friday morning, said the 95-year-old leader greeted him by lifting his hand partially. "A doctor tried to wake him up. He lifted his hand up to a point. He did not open his eyes," Deve Gowda said.
"That shows his brain function is very good. Of course he is on ventilator, but as thing stands his condition is a little improved," he added.
The vital signs of the former West Bengal chief minister, admitted to the private hospital near his Salt Lake residence following chest congestion and infection Jan 1 and shifted to the Intensive Critical Care Unit (ICCU) Jan 2, remained "more or less same" as Thursday.
Earlier, AMRI medical superintendent Debasish Sharma told IANS that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader was "slightly better".
"His other parameters like urine output, blood pressure and oxygen content in blood are also better," Sharma said.
He was being fed liquid food.
The eight member medical board treating Basu, who was chief minister for 23 years, put him on ventilator support due to acute respiratory problems early Jan 6.
Basu holds the record for the longest stint as chief minister after having been at the helm of affairs in the state for 23 uninterrupted years. Born 1914 in Kolkata, Basu was state chief minister from June 1977 until November 2000, heading a Left Front government led by the CPI-M. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds.