Joan Rivers' Death and the Risks of "Minor Surgery"

Was Joan Rivers' death preventable?  This issue is currently being investigated by authorities in New York.  The so-called "minor surgical procedure" that led to her premature death, known as an endoscopy, involves insertion of a tube with a camera attached to one end into the esophagus or gastro-intestinal tract.  Patients are often sedated during this procedure with a medication that puts him/her into a "twilight" state, or, depending on the circumstances, general anesthesia.  The medication Propofol, written about in a previous blog on this website and implicated as the cause of death of a 3 year old girl whose case tried last year by this office, and in the death of Michael Jackson, among others, is currently being investigated as a factor in causing the comedienne's death.  It is well established within the medical community that use and dosage of this powerful sedative must be carefully monitored by an anesthesiologist.  Failure to do so could have dire consequences for the patient.

Please refer to the attached article for more information about this tragic occurrence:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/05/health/joan-rivers-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t1