The outpatient clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing a throat procedure last week is being investigated, according to the New York State Department of Health. Rivers had been undergoing what was apparently a minor elective procedure at the clinic when she suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest, before being rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital and put on life support. She passed away on September 4.
All that's being said so far is that the medical examiner office will be investigating the circumstances that led to her death along with the health department, but it sounds like plenty of folks have already begun blaming the clinic. TMZ reports that the Yorkville Endoscopy Center has had to hire additional security after receiving an escalating series of death threats from Rivers' fans.
The facts that have been reported so far are that Rivers went into cardiac and respiratory distress during a procedure at the clinic on August 28, with emergency medical workers responding to a 911 call from the clinic around 9:40 a.m.. According to at least one source, the investigation is routine -- it sounds like there's usually an investigation when an outpatient clinic experiences this type of medical complication.
Who knows what the official report will eventually turn up, but at this point it doesn't sound like there's any reason to think the clinic was negligent. It's upsetting to think that a minor procedure could turn out so badly, but ... well, despite her energy, Rivers was 81 years old.
TMZ says the clinic has been receiving messages like "If Joan dies, so will you" and "I hope you people die, you killed an icon." The office has been shutting down early on some days to protect their employees, in addition to hiring extra security staff.
I understand people have all kinds of responses to death and anger is one of them, but whoever's actually sending these notes needs to get a serious grip. It's sad but not unusual at all for an elderly person to experience a fatal complication during surgery, and until the investigation actually reveals some sort of wrongdoing, there's no sense in blaming the clinic. People need to let the officials do their job, let the family grieve, and stop scaring the crap out of innocent staff members.
Are you surprised to hear people are blaming the clinic for Joan Rivers' death?
Image via JoanRivers.com