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Mother Teresa’s Condition Improving

November 28, 1996

CALCUTTA, India (AP) _ Doctors treating Mother Teresa were encouraged today that she slept well overnight, but had not yet decided when she would be strong enough to undergo a test that involves puncturing an artery.

``She’s in the process of stabilizing,″ said Sudipta Chakrabarti, a spokesman for Calcutta’s B.M. Birla Heart Research Center.

Doctors had said the 86-year-old nun must be in stable condition for at least 48 hours before they feel it will be safe to perform an angiogram.

The test involves puncturing an artery, usually in the groin, and threading a tube up into the chest arteries that feed the heart. X-ray dye is then injected into the arteries and X-ray pictures are taken.

If necessary, doctors will then dilate her arteries with tiny balloons to improve the flow of blood, a procedure known as angioplasty. Mother Teresa underwent angioplasties in 1991 and 1993.

Mother Teresa’s age and weakened condition have worried doctors preparing her for the angiogram. She has had a mild throat and chest infection for the past several days. Doctors also were concerned about chest pains she has been experiencing since being hospitalized Friday, an irregular heart beat first detected three months ago, and her weakened lungs.

The hospital released a statement saying Mother Teresa experienced ``minor chest discomfort″ but no pain overnight.

``Although she remains in a critical condition, she appears to be a little better,″ the statement said.

Mother Teresa, recipient of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, has had two heart attacks since 1983 and received a pacemaker in 1989. So far this year, she has been hospitalized four times _ twice with heart problems and twice with injuries sustained during falls.

Aides have taken over more and more of the day-to-day running of her Missionaries of Charity since Mother Teresa’s health began to fail. The order operates 517 orphanages, homes for the poor, AIDS hospices and other charity centers around the world, including 169 in India.

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