Clinic That Treated Joan Rivers Ignored 'Deteriorating Vital Signs,' NY Regulators Say

Joan Rivers, 2005.
Philip Hollis/REX USA

Joan Rivers photographed in 2005. 

Report reveals numerous mistakes by Yorkville Endoscopy.

The outpatient clinic where Joan Rivers underwent a routine, but ultimately fatal procedure, has been cited for many deficiencies by New York state regulators.

The doctors at Manhattan's Yorkville Endocscopy "failed to identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention during the procedure on Aug. 28," as Rivers lay dying from a lack of oxygen to the brain, the New York Department of Health and Human Services has determined.

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The violations include: not obtaining the patient's consent for a procedure, mistakes in administering the anesthesia Propofol, failing to take Rivers' weight, allowing an unauthorized doctor to perform a procedure at the facility and violating the patient's privacy by taking a cell phone photograph during surgery, according to a report obtained by The Hollywood Reporter

Rivers died Sept. 4 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan from the complications during her surgery.

The comedian's daughter Melissa was quick to issue a statement through a spokesman: Our client, Melissa Rivers, is terribly disappointed to learn of the multiple failings on the part of medical personnel and the clinic as evidenced by the CMS report. As any of us would be, Ms. Rivers is outraged by the misconduct and mismanagement now shown to have occurred before, during and after the procedure. Moving forward, Ms. Rivers will direct her efforts towards ensuring that what happened to her mother will not occur again with any other patient."

Melissa has already hired a malpractice law firm and plans to sue the clinic.

"From the outset of the August 28 incident described in the CMS Report, Yorkville has been fully cooperative and collaborative with all regulatory and accreditation agencies. In response to the statement of deficiencies, Yorkville immediately submitted and implemented a plan of correction that addressed all issues raised. The regulatory agencies are currently reviewing the corrective plan of action and have been in regular contact with Yorkville," a spokeswoman for Yorkville Endoscopy said in a statement. "In addition, the physicians involved in the direct care and treatment referenced in the report no longer practice or provide services at Yorkville. Yorkville will continue its commitment to complying with all standards and accreditation requirements." 

"Yorkville has been and remains open and active and is fully accredited by an independent review organization. The staff and providers are focused on providing the highest quality and most advanced care possible to its patients,” the statement continued.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.


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