Unplanned Biopsy Led to Death of Joan Rivers: Source

Broadway dims its lights for late star
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2014 2:48 AM CDT
Updated Sep 10, 2014 7:20 AM CDT
Unplanned Biopsy Led to Death of Joan Rivers: Source
This April 30, 2012, photo shows comedian Joan Rivers at the E! Network upfront event at Gotham Hall in New York City.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)

What was supposed to be a routine procedure ended up causing the death of Joan Rivers, a medical source tells the New York Daily News. According to the source, a doctor in the star's entourage performed an unplanned biopsy after she went in for routine surgery on her vocal cords. The source says Rivers' air supply was cut off when her vocal cords seized up during the unplanned procedure at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic in New York City. She died a week later. "A biopsy like that should only be done in a hospital setting," the source says. "If she had been in a hospital when it happened, she might have been OK." Last week, it emerged that the clinic is being "reviewed" by state health officials.

The 81-year-old star was honored with dimmed lights on Broadway last night, CBS reports. The Broadway League reversed its earlier decision not to dim theater lights in her memory because she didn't meet its criteria, having not acted on Broadway for more than 20 years. "Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her," says the league's executive director. "Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight." (At her funeral, Howard Stern offered a much filthier tribute.)

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