Federal Investigation: Clinic Treating Joan Rivers Before Death Made Several Errors

Kaitlan Collins Contributor
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The New York clinic that was taking care of Joan Rivers when a procedure complication turned fatal made a number of mistakes while treating her, a federal investigation concluded late Monday.

The report shows that employees at Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan on Aug. 28 did not notice Rivers’s vital signs were failing until 15 minutes before she went into cardiac arrest, failed to keep correct medical records, and were taking photos of Rivers on their cellphones while she was unconscious.

“The physicians in charge of the care of the patient failed to identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention during the procedure,” the report says.

The medical director of the clinic, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, had also been taking photos of Rivers and another doctor in the room.

The report was released by federal agency Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and though it does not name Rivers specifically, it calls the 81-year-old “Patient #1.” (RELATED: Doctor Fired From Clinic That Operated On Joan Rivers Before Her Death)

Joan Rivers death investigation

(Photo: Getty Images)

After spending several days in the hospital, Rivers died Sept. 4, citing lack of oxygen to her brain as her cause of death.

Joan’s daughter Melissa’s lawyers released this statement Monday:

She 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.

The clinic, which repeated it was fully cooperating with the investigation, has until Jan. 7 to fix its problems, otherwise it could face losing Medicare accreditation. (RELATED: Melissa Rivers Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Mother’s Clinic)