The official cause of death for Joan Rivers has been released by the coroner and it is being called a “predictable complication.”
While no other information is known at this time, it appears as if the comedian’s demise was due to risks associated with the type of procedure she underwent, so her death may not have been preventable.
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner revealed the findings of what caused Rivers to unexpectedly die over a month ago while undergoing a throat procedure. In its statement, the OCME said that “the cause of Ms. Rivers’ death is anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for an evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The manner of death is therapeutic complication.”
The statement continued, adding that “the classification of a death as a therapeutic complication means that the death resulted from a predictable complication of medical therapy.”
So, even if Rivers’ procedure was routine and simple, it still carried risks associated with the anesthesia and/or the procedure itself. She suffered hypoxic arrest, which resulted in oxygen being cut off to her brain, causing substantial damage from which the Fashion Police host could not recover.
This means that the doctors that performed the minor surgery are not responsible for Rivers’ death and they probably could not have done anything to prevent it. By the time she reached the hospital, the lack of oxygen to her brain was too great and she never emerged from the medically induced coma she was put into.