Coroner Renders Opinion
The New York City medical examiner has concluded that popular comedian and TV celebrity Joan Rivers died as a result of a “therapeutic complication.” Rivers was undergoing a procedure to evaluate her voice when she experienced breathing trouble, resulting in a critical lack of oxygen. She was placed in a medically induced coma but ultimately died last month at the age of 81.
Powerful Drug Propofol May Have Contributed
Citing privacy laws, Yorkville Endoscopy has refused to discuss Rivers’ treatment in detail. The medical examiner, however, indicated that she was sedated with propofol, an anesthetic drug that slows brain function and affects breathing. The drug is widely used but is irreversible and requires constant vigilance to avoid major complications.
If propofol sounds familiar, it’s because the drug played a prominent role in the 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson and was a major subject in the subsequent trial. Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, allegedly used the medication to help Jackson get to sleep when other alternatives didn’t work. In that case, critics decried the use of propofol outside of the close monitoring of an intensive care hospital unit.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.