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JLeslie's avatar

What happened to Joan Rivers?

Asked by JLeslie (65562points) September 1st, 2014

I’m sure I can google, but I rather discuss it on fluther.

When I first heard she is in an induced coma, because of something going wrong during a surgery, my immediate reaction was the doctors killed her. I know she isn’t dead, and I hope she pulls through and is the same as always.

Why was Joan having surgery? What is her prognosis? Do you think the doctor screwed up?

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20 Answers

pleiades's avatar

She was getting work done on her vocal chords (considered by many a minor surgery) when she she stopped breathing and her heart failed. Essentially they shocked her heart back into working order but put her in a medically induced coma (for reasons unknown to me, from what I understand is there is great risk of brain damage within a coma)

trailsillustrated's avatar

She’s 81. Surgery on anyone, let alone an 80 year old, has risks. I“m sure the doctors did nothing wrong.

Lightlyseared's avatar

She was having the procedure in an outpatient endoscopy unit so it’s possible the procedure she was having was an endoscopy of the vocal cords . If you irritate the vocal cords they go into spasm (laryngospasm) blocking the trachea and stoping you from breathing. The usual treatment is to administer a fast acting muscle relaxant and then manually ventilate the patient until it wears off (because the muscle relaxant would have relaxed all the muscles including those needed to breath).

ucme's avatar

Her banks burst

JLeslie's avatar

@Lightlyseared Seems like at her age they should take less risk and do procedures like that at the hospital.

@trailsillustrated What I read this morning was she was indeed having an endoscopy, which usually means the patient is just drugged up on IV meds, not under general. I assume that was the case with her also.

jca's avatar

When I first heard the story, I wondered if she was maybe having plastic surgery and they were not reporting that, since most people don’t admit to it.

When you look at what she looks like now, it’s sad. She was on Letterman about a month ago and she almost looked comical, her face was so puffy and pulled.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca She has always been so up front about her plastic surgery. It’s possible of course, anything is possible. If it was plastic surgery I would hope she does it at a hospital at her age. I worry about it at any age.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

She was rejected for a permanent position as host of The Tonight Show.

It was all downhill from there.

Aster's avatar

She was given light anesthesia, a breathing tube was put in then she stopped breathing. She never had the surgery which, from what I read, was dangerous at her age and unnecessary because she just wanted to clear up her hoarseness. I say, after even seventy five, just be hoarse. On 9/1 they began bringing her out of the coma.
I also read today the family is considering a lawsuit against the hospital. Many fear she will either be a vegetable or in a wheelchair.

JLeslie's avatar

Oy. I hope if she is a vegetable with severe brain damage they are able to let her die. It’s just awful. I’m going to hold out hope she is as good as new.

What I really wonder is if doing the procedure in an outpatient facility and transporting her to the hospital lost precious time for them to keep her oxygenated correctly.

Aster's avatar

Joan has been moved to a private room Wednesday September 3. She is not communicating.

JLeslie's avatar

I heard she is being kept comfortable, which to me sounds very bad. Although, my aunt three years ago was being considered for hospice or at minimum to be moved to the floor of the hospital for palliative care. Instead she was moved to a nursing home (thanks to my sister) for two weeks then discharged home. She has been living at home with help during the day, and certainly did not die.

Still, I am afraid Joan is being allowed to die. I feel very negative about it. I hope I am wrong.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I feel the same way. “Being kept comfortable” means she’s on painkillers and in a diaper, sleeping all day.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca What I wonder is if they are not feeding her.

jca's avatar

She may be on a feeding tube.

JLeslie's avatar

If her brain activity is basically non-existent I think her family would keep that out of the news and if they stopped feeding her I think they would keep it out also. So, I think there is no way to know. If she is still alive in a couple weeks then we will know they are continuing to sustain her.

ucme's avatar

She just died, “Oh, purleeze, talk about lousy timing”

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme You’re terrible. Joan would appreciate it. :)

ucme's avatar

Funny lady, back in the day RIP

JLeslie's avatar

I just heard she died. Really very sad how it all happened. I’m pretty sure we don’t know all the real details, but just the vague information is upsetting.

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