Arun Jaitley's health remains critical, ex-finance minister put on life support, say reports

  • Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on 9 August, is in a critical state, media reports said.

  • Reports said that Jaitley was currently on life support system, to provide external cardiac and respiratory support

  • ECMO is often a treatment used after other methods have failed, but it can certainly be quite effective

Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on 9 August, is in a critical state, media reports said. A report in The Hinduquoted AIIMS sources to suggest that Jaitley was currently on life support system to provide him with external cardiac and respiratory support.

The report said that Jaitley has been put on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which is also known as extracorporeal life support (ECLS). It is a machine that takes over cardiac and/or respiratory functions when one's own heart and/or lungs are incapable keeping the normal breathing and blood circulation going.

 Arun Jaitleys health remains critical, ex-finance minister put on life support, say reports

File photo of Arun Jaitley. PTI

ECMO is often a treatment used after other methods have failed, but it can certainly be quite effective. As a person's own heart and lungs strengthen, the machine can be turned down to allow the person’s body to take over.

As news of Jaitley's critical health condition spread, politicians from across the political spectrum visited the ailing leader.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati visited AIIMS to enquire about Jaitley's health on Saturday morning, followed by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi who have had a long acquaintance with Jaitley not only as a political opponent but as a senior Supreme Court lawyer. "Wishing my friend Arun Jaitley a long life and good health. He has been a fighter throughout his life. Hope that he wins this crucial fight and comes back actively to all of us soon. Millions and millions of prayers are with you," Singhvi said in a tweet after visiting Jaitley at the hospital.

On Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath visited AIIMS to enquire about Jaitley's health. The president visited the hospital around noon, while Shah and Adityanath visited AIIMS around 11.15 pm, the previous day. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey were also present in the hospital.

According to the sources, Jaitley, 66, is critical and a multidisciplinary team of doctors is supervising his treatment. He is admitted at the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU).

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has not issued any bulletin on Jaitley's health condition since 10 August. Jaitley was admitted on 9 August after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.

In May this year, Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment.

Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet in the BJP government's first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government. Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election because of his ill-health.

He had undergone a renal transplant on 14 May last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time. Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018. In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2019 13:29:21 IST