Day eight into his fast, Anna Hazare has lost five kilograms. His weight is down from 72 to 67 kilograms. His blood pressure is at 130/90 and the heart rate is slightly high at 90.
A team of government doctors and another team from the Medanta Hospital are constantly monitoring his health. The question on everyone’s mind – just how long can Anna continue?
When he came to the Ramlila grounds five days ago, one of the first few things he said was that although he had lost weight and was feeling weak since he started this fast, he was getting energy from seeing his supporters.
It may have sounded very encouraging back then, but how far can Anna ignore his health concerns? At 74, his doctors, at least, are worried for him and are not sure, if he can continue much more.
Here’s what can happen to Anna:
Acute dehydration causing a drop in the sodium and fluoride levels in the body – could lead to kidney damage, low heart rate, even precipitate a heart attack.
Electrolyte imbalance that could lead to neurological complications like unconsciousness, convulsions, even stroke.
Metabolic problems. Drop in blood sugar levels leading to unconsciousness, convulsions, kidney failure, multiple organ failure, even death.
Doctors say in two-three days Anna would need medical intervention.
According to the Delhi Police, they will now wait to see what government doctors say. If they say Anna needs urgent medical intervention and needs to be hospitalised, the Delhi Police can intervene and forcibly remove him, if Anna refuses to budge.
Next, Anna maybe force fed through IV drips or orally.
But given the sensitivity of the situation – it is a call the Delhi Police cannot take alone. They will have to wait for a final nod from the government.