What Caused Joan Rivers’ Death?
Joan Rivers died on September 4, 2014. At the time, coroners claimed that complications during surgery caused the 81-year-old comedian’s passing. Now, more reports are emerging about potential malpractice that occurred before her death.
How Did Joan Rivers Die?
Rivers initially underwent a minor vocal cord operation. As reports from the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services show, the procedure did not go as planned. While Rivers did sign consent to receive anesthesia and she received a warning about possible surgical risks, the report shows that doctors performed a laryngoscopy, which Rivers did not consent to. During this procedure, Rivers had a laryngospasm – her vocal cords seized and constricted, reducing the flow of oxygen. She lost consciousness and eventually went into cardiac arrest. She never awoke.
From there, the report says, doctors failed to notice that her vital signs were failing and did not provide treatment in time to resuscitate her. The report also mentions that medical documents were inconsistent and incomplete. Her weight was not listed, for example, which is important to consider when figuring how much medication to administer.
Was Joan Rivers’ Death a Result of Medical Malpractice?
Rivers’ daughter Melissa has released a statement through her attorney, claiming that she is disappointed in the medical facility’s failings and will now focus her efforts on making sure that “what happened to her mother will not occur again” with anyone else. Some reports speculate that this means she will file a lawsuit against the hospital.
To prove that medical malpractice occurred, the victim or a family member must prove that the doctor made an error during the operation. By failing to obtain consent to perform a laryngoscopy that potentially caused Rivers’ death, and by failing to notice that she was losing oxygen and thus sustaining brain damage, a malpractice suit could be a valid option in this instance.
Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area
Did You Know: Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.