The late Joan Rivers
Photo: Charles William Bush


Daily Mixx Fixx

By ITM Staff

It’s been over 2 months since comedy legend Joan Rivers died following a routine throat surgery and details are still emerging on exactly what caused her death on September 4, 2014.

According to a report released yesterday, the Manhattan clinic that treated Rivers before her death made a number of serious mistakes.

The report, which was issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency, did not identify Joan Rivers by name but instead referred to her as an 81-year-old female, or Patient #1.  CMS declined to confirm whether the patient referenced in the report is actually Rivers but the description of the patient and the procedures she underwent match what is known about Rivers.  The reports also mark the same date of her appointment.


Among the major errors CMS found the clinic committed are:

- Failing to identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention;

- Failing to record Rivers’ weight, prior to the administration of medication for sedation;

- Failing to consistently document the dose of Propofol, a sedative, administered;

- Failing to get Rivers’ informed consent for each procedure performed;

- Failing to ensure that she was cared for only by physicians granted privilege in accordance with the clinic’s bylaws;

- And finally, failing to abide by its own cell phone policy (the report found that a photograph was taken of a surgeon and Rivers while she was under sedation).


With allegations as strong as those, Yorkville Endoscopy was forced to release a statement; “In response to the statement of deficiencies, Yorkville immediately submitted and implemented a plan of correction that addressed all issues raised.  The regulatory agencies are currently reviewing the corrective plan of action and have been in regular contact with Yorkville.  In addition, the physicians involved in the direct care and treatment referenced in the report no longer practice or provide services at Yorkville.”

Joan’s daughter, Melissa Rivers is understandably distraught over the news.  According to a statement from her attorneys, “[Melissa] is terribly disappointed to learn of the multiple failings on the part of medical personnel and the clinic as evidenced by the CMS report.”