Rivers 'died of low blood oxygen'

Rivers 'died of low blood oxygen'
Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers died from low blood oxygen during a routine medical procedure to check out voice changes and reflux, the medical examiner’s office has ruled.

The comedian, who was 81, died on September 4 after she’d been in hospital for about a week when she went into cardiac arrest during the procedure at a doctor’s office.

Rivers died from “anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest” – brain damage due to lack of oxygen – during a procedure to scope her upper gastrointestinal tract and vocal folds, a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner said.

The death was classified as a complication of a medical procedure. The classification is not commonly used; more deaths are certified as homicides, suicides or natural causes.

Rivers had been sedated during the procedure with propofol, the medical examiner said.

The state Health Department also is investigating.

Rivers’ daughter and TV partner, Melissa Rivers, said they had no comment on the ruling.

“We continue to be saddened by our tragic loss and grateful for the enormous outpouring of love and support from around the world,” she said in a statement.

Rivers was a raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows. With her raspy voice and brash New York accent, she turned the red carpet of the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes into a stalking ground for E! Entertainment, where she first began working in 1994.

Her familiar query – “Who are you wearing?” – would quickly give way to such snarky commentary as her assessment of Adele’s Grammy outfit: The singer looked like she was sitting on a teapot.

In 2007, Rivers and her daughter were dropped by their new employer, the TV Guide Channel, and replaced by actress Lisa Rinna. But the Rivers’ women returned to E! and found new success with Fashion Police, which Rivers hosted and her daughter produced.

More in this Section

Netflix unveils new parental control optionsNetflix unveils new parental control options

David Beckham: The UK is so lucky to be able to exercise outsideDavid Beckham: The UK is so lucky to be able to exercise outside

Shane Mac Gowan has created a range of products based on his drawing ‘Two Leprechauns’Shane Mac Gowan has created a range of products based on his drawing ‘Two Leprechauns’

Andrea Bocelli announces special show bringing together ‘millions’ amid outbreakAndrea Bocelli announces special show bringing together ‘millions’ amid outbreak


Lifestyle

As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner