JOAN RIVERS– Revisited

The latest revelations from the Joan Rivers tragedy seems to indict her treatment at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic.  The importance of these latest findings which appeared in the NYTimes and are based upon a “federal report” seems to point to a variety of avoidable errors and omissions.

The importance to me on a personal level  ( in addition to the Ms Rivers tragic death) is that I participate in an ambulatory surgicenter where upper endoscopies are performed on a daily basis.

I do hear from some of my patients who have expressed concern regarding their own fate. 

To summarize:  there seems to have been a failure to notice her deteriorating vital signs.  To me this points to a dereliction of duties by the anesthesiologist involved in the case.  Their job is to administer the drugs and closely monitor the patient’s vital signs.  That is their responsibility.  The anesthesiologists I work for are compulsively monitoring our patients on a continuous basis.

Again there was notation of the unauthorized ENT doctor Korovin who performed two laryngoscopies.  Even without performing a biopsy, this procedure is known to potentially result in spasm of the larynx and trachea, the result leading to bronchospasm and inability to oxygenate the patient.  This was clearly an inappropriate procedure for an ambulatory surgicenter and may have directly led to the anoxia (lack of oxygen) that resulted in “brain death”.

 The taking of “selfies” was an act of poor judgment and unprofessionalism but not directly contributory to Ms.River’s death.

So in summary, her death was most likely avoidable.  Poor medical judgment and perhaps an anesthesiologists lack of attention contributed to it. 

Obviously I am not responding to sworn testimony for this assessment, merely the NY Times article. But at least I can offer my own patients some assurance that their experience will be much different at our center.

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