Doctors for Joan Rivers 'Failed to Identify Deteriorating Vital Signs'

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Staff members at a clinic where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest shortly before dying did not intervene properly, according to a new report.

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released on Monday, “physicians [at at Yorkville Endoscopy] in charge of the care of the patient failed to identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention during the procedure.” Rivers, who was 81 when she died, had consented for “an upper endoscopy that was to involve a possible biopsy, a possible removal of polyps, and a possible dilation of the esophagus,” at Yorkville Endoscopy, according to CBS. But the report found that the comedian also underwent another procedure that she did not consent to.

A surgeon performed a procedure that involved placing tubes in Rivers’ nose with a laryngoscope, and there was no documentation that she was given consent for that procedure as required, the report said.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s office said Rivers’ cause of death was “anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease.” That means she suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

According to the report, there were also inconsistencies and missing information in her medical record. The findings also back up previous reports that the surgeon took photos of himself with Rivers was she was under anesthesia.

Melissa Rivers’ attorneys responded on behalf of their client to the report on Monday. “As any of us would be, Ms. Rivers is outraged by the misconduct and mismanagement now shown to have occurred before, during and after the procedure,” they said. “Moving forward, Ms. Rivers will direct her efforts towards ensuring that what happened to her mother will not occur again with any other patient.”


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Image via Getty.

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