Medical examiners have revealed Joan Rivers’ cause of death. The comedian died due to lack of oxygen to the brain as she was undergoing routine throat surgery, which was meant to address changes in her voice, as well as her acid reflux. Rivers, who was 81 when she passed away on Sept. 4, 2014, was rushed to the hospital when she went into cardiac arrest during surgery. Despite attempts to revive the comedian, she slipped into a coma and was eventually taken off of life support.
The medical examiner also described the cause of death as a “predictable complication,” which could potentially strengthen the case against the private clinic that carried out Rivers’ surgery. Yorkville Endoscopy’s medical director, Dr. Lawrence B. Cohen, has stepped down. Cohen was also the one who performed surgery on the comedian. The doctor, who has had the license to practice since 1979, is also under fire for letting an unidentified ENT specialist examine Rivers, even though she was not affiliated with the clinic and, therefore, not authorized to work with the clinic’s patients. The clinic is currently under investigation by the New York State Health Department.
In the weeks following Rivers’ death, many speculated that she stopped breathing because of complications with the anesthetic Propofol, while others suggested that she died due to an unplanned biopsy. However, Yorkville Endoscopy refuted the latter by stating that biopsies have never been performed at the clinic.
Rivers was one of the most accomplished and visible comedians of her time. She appeared as a regular guest host on “Late Night with Johnny Carson” and went on to host her own talk show in 1986. She also hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” She signed a multimillion dollar contract with E!, which made her a regular fixture on the red carpet. She was known for her irreverent humor and for being open about her numerous cosmetic procedures.
The comedian was married twice. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and her grandson Cooper survive her.
There you have it for the results revealing Joan Rivers’ cause of death. Follow Movie News Guide (MNG) for more updates on your favorite celebrities.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone