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Cartoonist R.K. Laxman “very critical”; back on ventilator support

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Eminent cartoonist R.K. Laxman took a turn for the worse after he slipped into a “very critical state”, following which he has been put back on mechanical ventilator support, said medical sources on Monday.

The 93-year-old Mr. Laxman was taken off the ventilator last week after his health showed marginal but steady improvement, sparking hopes of a possible recovery.

“Presently, his condition is very critical,” said Dr. Sameer Jog, who has been treating the cartoonist since his admission to Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital on January 17 following a urinary tract infection and kidney failure.

“He suddenly developed severe breathlessness around 8p.m. on Sunday following which we had to put him on ventilator support again. We have also had to discontinue his dialysis as he is unable to bear the therapy now,” said Dr. Jog.

Last week, the cartoonist, whose health has been debilitated by hypertension and a series of strokes in the past, was being able to breathe on his own, sending out a positive signal to doctors.

Further, he was being able to maintain his blood pressure with a lesser drug dose and his creatinine level (an indicator of the proper functioning of the kidneys) had restored to a normal count.

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