Among Clinic's Errors: Not Weighing Joan Rivers

The comedian was not weighed prior to being given propofol sedative
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2014 2:30 AM CST

(Newser) – When TV personality and comedian Joan Rivers went to an outpatient clinic on Manhattan's Upper East Side in late August, she was supposed to be in and out for a throat procedure. Instead she went into cardiac arrest and died a week later, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is now citing Yorkville Endoscopy for multiple failings throughout her stay, reports Reuters. Those include not being weighed to determine dosage before administering the sedative propofol, not getting consent for all procedures performed, and failing to detect vital signs during the procedures.

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Rivers apparently signed a consent form for an endoscopy only, not the laryngoscopy she also received—and it was performed by Rivers' personal physician, who wasn't authorized to operate in that capacity at the clinic, reports People. And while computer records indicate the 81-year-old was given 300 milligrams of propofol at 9:21am on Aug. 28, the anesthesiologist says she actually administered only 120 milligrams, a discrepancy she blames on double-clicking "Propofol 100 milligram," reports Page Six. Rivers' daughter, Melissa Rivers, has hired a law firm, which stated, in part, that Melissa "will direct her efforts towards ensuring that what happened to her mother will not occur again with any other patient." (Joan Rivers' doc is also accused of taking a selfie while Rivers was unconscious.)

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