As ailing DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, who was admitted to Kauvery Hospital past 11 p.m. on Thursday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited the 92-year-old veteran in Tamil Nadu on Saturday and wished him early recovery.
DMK chief had undergone a tracheostomy procedure to optimise breathing, said a press release by the hospital. He is reportedly facing breathing difficulty caused by a throat and lung infection.
Karunanidhi was hospitalized twice in a span of one month, earlier on December 1 for skin allergy and again on Thursday for lung infection.
Tracheostomy involves an operation by cutting open the neck below the Adam’s apple or the vocal cords and placing a tube in the opening for air to go in and out, instead of using the mouth and nose. For some, a tracheostomy is short-term. For others, it is long-lasting attachment.
The problem with tracheostomy is that the air goes into lungs unfiltered with the debris adds to buildup of fluids and secretions in the lungs, which requires constant cleaning. Since the tube cannot let patients speak the way normal people do, they can make a few sounds by holding breath but quickly run out of air.
Because of the design of the ventilator, speech occurs when air is pushed out of the body, the sounds may suddenly become louder or softer. Their speech may be improved by making simple adjustments to ventilator settings, if breathing insufficiency is taken care of.
Tamil Nadu late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa too had undergone tracheostomy few days before her final breathe.