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Hello Michelle,

That is a very good question and one that many people may be asking.

We must remember that we are speculating with only the information provided by the media. None of us are aware of Ms. Rivers's medical history and over all health.

We know that Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a minor endoscopic procedure in an outpatient clinic.

In general, there are two possible causes of cardiac arrest during an endoscopic procedure.

Over medicating a patient with a sedative, such as Propofol, which is commonly administered, can lead to cardiac arrest.

Bronchospasm, which is a lower airway obstruction due to contraction or spasm of the bronchial smooth muscle, leads to respiratory related complications during an endoscopic procedure.

Preventing cardio-respiratory complications during such a procedure is the responsibility of the anesthesiologist and endoscopist.


September 1, 2014 - 9:34am


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