Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (File Photo)
Amid reports of the deteriorating health of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, security has been beefed up on Monday outside the ward at AIIMS, Delhi, where the ailing BJP leader is admitted in a "critical" condition from the last two weeks. Several dignitaries, including Union ministers, who have been visiting the hospital, are not allowed inside the cabin and going back after meeting his family only.
Prominent leaders who visisted AIIMS in the past few days include President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Harsh Vardhan, BSP chief Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi are also scheduled to visit AIIMS on Monday.
Jaitley, 66, was admitted to the hospital following complaints of breathlessness and restlessness on August 9. Since then, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has not issued any bulletin on Jaitley's health, leading political bigwigs to often visit the hospital to enquire about his well-being.
According to a top source in AIIMS, the hospital will issue its first bulletin on Jaitley's health updates post lunch today. Sources also said on Sunday evening that Jaitley has been shifted to Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) from ventilator and the dialysis process is going to be started anytime soon. Most of his organs are put on life support system and the brain is till alive. A multidisciplinary team of doctors is currently monitoring Jaitley and has been trying their best to keep him stable.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a treatment where a pump is used to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a ailing body. It also removes the carbon dioxide and oxygenates red blood cells throughout the body. It is performed either post-cardiopulmonary bypass or in late stage treatment of a person with profound heart or lung failure.
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 presumably because of his ill-health. He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 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.