Joan Rivers’ Family Considers Lawsuit Against Medical Team for Procedure?

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Joan Rivers’ family is said to be considering filing a lawsuit against the medical team that was responsible for allegedly conducting a botched procedure that resulted in the 81-year-old comedian’s collapse. According to New York Daily News, a source close to Rivers’ family said they were currently assessing their options in moving forward.

Rivers was hospitalized on Aug. 28 after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest. When the Fashion Police host collapsed, shortly after undergoing a minor procedure on her vocal cords, emergency medical technicians were called to the private Upper East Side clinic where she was receiving treatment.

Although the precise details of Rivers’ throat procedure remain elusive, it is said doctors were performing an endoscopic procedure to look at her vocal cords. The procedure, which is ordinarily performed under general anesthetic in a hospital, carries risk of cardiorespiratory complications, including spasm of the airways.

In the days leading up to the procedure, Rivers was experiencing throat problems and had a raspy voice. Although she had performed an hour-long standup gig at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Aug. 27, audience members say there were no signs to suggest the acerbic comedian was struggling.

According to a Daily News source, the family has hinted at the possibility of taking legal action against Yorkville Endoscopy, where Rivers was receiving throat surgery as an outpatient. “Shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame… An 81-year-old should not have that procedure as an outpatient. Very ill-advised,” explained the source.

According to neuro-critical care specialists, medical practitioners put Rivers into a medically induced coma, in a bid to improve her chances of recovery. Anesthetics were reportedly administered to limit the star’s brain function while it repaired itself. When using medically induced comas, experts typically try to find a balance between reducing the brain’s activity, so that it does not require as much energy, and maintaining adequate blood supply to the region.

It currently remains uncertain how long the Brooklyn-born comedian had stopped breathing for. On Sunday, doctors embarked upon the process of lifting Rivers from her comatose state. A source familiar with Rivers’ medical treatment told Daily News that doctors are waiting to assess her cognitive abilities to determine the extent of any potential damage. However, it’s feared her cognitive functions could be adversely affected because of the time she spent without oxygen; doctors have considered the likelihood that Rivers may be left with mobility issues and long-term disability.

On Sunday evening, spokespeople working for the Mount Sinai Hospital where Rivers was admitted said they had no further updates to offer on her condition.

While Rivers’ only daughter, Melissa, is said to be considering legal action, reports indicate she is more concerned with her mother’s prognosis. Sources close to the 46-year-old claim she is in “denial” over the severity of her mother’s condition, and does not know what steps to take.

Last modified: September 1st, 2014 by James Fenner