A day after DMK chief and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was hospitalised at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, a health bulletin released by the private hospital says he has undergone a tracheostomy to optimise breathing.
A press release by the private hospital said that he had breathing difficulties because of a throat and lung infection and that he was stable and on antibiotics.
Karunanidhi had been hospitalised in the first week of December for â€śoptimisation of nutrition and hydrationâ€ť and was readmitted to the same hospital after his health deteriorated.
On October 25, the party had announced that he was ill due to a drug-induced allergy, and asked its members to avoid visiting him. The drugs he was allergic to, were those he was regularly taking.
Since then, Karunanidhi has been taking rest. Images of him released later, also show increased swelling all over his body, which is said to be a symptom of his allergic reaction.
Coincidentally, his political rival, late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had also undergone a tracheostomy during her 75-day stint at Apollo Hospital in Chennai.
During a tracheostomy, a tube is inserted into the patient's windpipe to open the restricted airway and enable breathing.
Since morning, top leaders of the DMK including his younger son MK Stalin have made a beeline to the hospital to visit the 92-year-old leader.
However, unlike scenes outside Apollo Hospital, DMK cadres have chosen to keep away, to give the party chief space to recover.
Read Nitin Bhaskaran's story on what's happening outside Kauvery hospital.