The Clinic which administered the surgery of Joan Rivers claims the comedienne was a recipient of the same drug blamed for the death of music legend Michael Jackson. The 81-year-old Queen of Comedy was being sedated for an endoscopy procedure when she slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.
The comedy legend was given propofol as an anesthetic before she died. Propofol is common for simple medical procedures and is the same medication that was the leading cause of death for the King of Pop. This same drug gained national attention after Jackson had taken a cocktail of drugs that included propofol.
Patients of the clinic where the Rivers fell ill confirmed propofol is commonly used for endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures. One patient who received an endoscopy following Rivers said the staff continued to use the drug. One staff member even referred to the drug as the “Michael Jackson” drug.
It was not until almost the end of the procedure when medical personnel realized the comedienne’s oxygen level was crashing. Although it was not clear what led to the breathing problems, propofol is known for having a small margin of error between respiratory arrest and sedation. Reports said it could have been the anesthetic or even a complication of the procedures being performed. They tried to stabilize Rivers, but were unsuccessful.
The Department of Health in New York State immediately launched an investigation into Yorkville Endoscopy where Rivers went into cardiac arrest. The clinic has cooperated fully. Staff said Rivers just stopped breathing while under anesthesia. Paramedics, who were called to the clinic, rushed in to find doctors frantically trying to place a tube down the comedienne’s throat in hopes of getting her to breathe again. Paramedics took over and were able to intubate her and perform CPR before she began breathing again. At that time, Rivers was said to have been in bad shape.
Recent reports state an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) was also present during the procedure that was not authorized to practice medicine at the clinic. The specialist was invited in by Ms. Rivers’ gastroenterologist to check Rivers. The specialist examined the comedienne’s voice box before and after the gastroenterologist performed the upper endoscopy. Although the ENT specialist was not authorized to practice at the clinic reports state neither the gastroenterologist nor the specialist has been accused of wrongdoing.
Rivers passed away on September 4th peacefully surrounded by close friends and family. Her only daughter, Melissa, announced her passing simply by saying, “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.” She said what made her mother the happiest was making people laugh. That is what she loved to do.
Widely known as Joan Rivers, the comedienne was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in June 1933. She was mostly noted for her comedic and often controversial persona but was also a writer, television host, producer and comedian. She rose to prominence as a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965. Rivers was given her own show The Late Show With Joan Rivers in 1986, making her the first woman to ever host a late night television talk show.
More recently Rivers starred in a reality series called Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best (with her only daughter) and co-hosted the E! Celebrity fashion show called Fashion Police. The woman who has made the world laugh for many decades may be gone but her ability to bring joy to the world will laugh forever through the legacy she left in the earth. It is not clear whether propofol is to be blamed for the death of Joan Rivers as is was for the King of Pop but reports state the drug was used as an anesthetic during the procedure.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)