THE New York City medical examiner’s office has announced that Joan Rivers died due to medical complications during routine surgery resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain.
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said in a statement. “OCME (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner) has completed its investigation. The cause of Ms. Rivers’ death is anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The manner of death is therapeutic complication,”
She went on to say: “The classification of a death as a therapeutic complication means that the death resulted from a predictable complication of medical therapy.”
The legendary comedian died in New York City on September 4, after what started as a routine procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy, an outpatient surgery center where her gastroenterologist, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, served as medical director.
It has been reported that one of the doctors who performed a biopsy on River’s vocal chords was not authorized to perform procedures at the clinic, although the clinic has repeatedly denied any biopsy was performed.
He has since stepped down from that position as the Upper East Side clinic has come under scrutiny following Rivers’ death.
Rivers died at the Mount Sinai Hospital after emergency services were called when she suffered cardiac arrest. A full investigation by New York’s department of health has been launched into the medical practice at the Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic.