However, PMO said today (21 Feb) that his condition has since stabilised.
Mr Lee, 91, was admitted to SGH on 5 Feb two weeks ago, for severe pneumonia.
“His condition has stabilised and he remains on mechanical ventilation in the ICU. He is conscious and lightly sedated,” the PMO said.
PM Lee Hsien Loong also posted the same message on his Facebook page:
Mechanical ventilation is a method to mechanically assist or replace spontaneous breathing for a patient. This usually involves a machine called a ventilator to support the patient in breathing.
Mechanical ventilation is termed “invasive” if it involves any instrument penetrating through the mouth (such as an endotracheal tube) or the skin (such as a tracheostomy tube).
There are two main modes of mechanical ventilation within the two divisions: positive pressure ventilation, where air (or another gas mix) is pushed into the trachea, and negative pressure ventilation, where air is, in essence, sucked into the lungs.
PMO said, “His doctors are continuing to monitor his condition. PMO will keep the public informed of any change.”
During Chinese New Year last year, Mr Lee was hospitalised for an infection, fever and cough. And in 2013, he was admitted to hospital for a suspected Transient Ischaemic Attack, an episode where irregular heartbeat leads to a brief stoppage of blood flow to the brain.