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Joan Rivers' death may have been caused by medical negligence

When an individual has to undergo a surgical procedure in Pennsylvania, it is only natural to expect the surgeon to perform at an acceptable level of professionalism. Many patients choose a surgeon with great care; however, the rest of the surgical team is hardly ever considered. The attending anesthesiologist is a paramount part of the team, and the patient's life may depend on his or her proficiency. The reality is that medical negligence by any part of the medical team may lead to the death of a patient.

After the much-publicized death of TV personality Joan Rivers, a recent report apparently indicated that her death resulted from human error. According to the report, Ms Rivers' condition became unstable, and it took doctors 18 minutes to take action. The resuscitation process was delayed by eight more minutes as she waited for the correct medication to be administered. According to an experienced anesthesiologist, recognizing the patient's unstable condition and acting upon it is the responsibility of the attending anesthesiologist.

More irregularities came to light, and, although those did not cause her death, they indicate negligence in following proper procedures. It was reported that Ms. Rivers never signed the required consent forms, and she was not weighed prior to the procedure. In addition, the ear, nose and throat specialist in attendance had no credentials to practice in the medical facility where the surgical procedure took place. It was said that procedures are often adapted to suit so-called "VIP" patients.

When a member of a medical team in Pennsylvania fails to meet an acceptable standard of care, and medical negligence leads to injury or death of a patient, compensation may be claimed. Proving medical negligence could be complicated, and injured patients or surviving family members may benefit from the experience of a medical malpractice attorney. Presenting a claim with sufficient evidence that a proper standard of care was not exercised may lead to monetary compensation to cover medical, end-of-life and other expenses.

Source:, "Inside Your Health: Analyzing Clinic Errors in Joan Rivers' Treatment", Cassie Hart, Nov. 12, 2014

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