"OCME [Office of the Chief Medical Examiner] has completed its investigation," reads the statement from spokeswoman Julie Bolcer. "The cause of Ms. Rivers’ death is anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The manner of death is therapeutic complication. The classification of a death as a therapeutic complication means that the death resulted from a predictable complication of medical therapy."
This means Rivers died from low blood oxygen to the brain during the endoscopy. Find out more details about Joan's cause of death.
Rivers died on Sept. 4 at the age of 81, following a minor throat procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy in NYC on Aug. 28. Her friends called the surgery a "diagnostic procedure [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy," the New York Daily News reported in the week following Rivers' death. According to the paper, the comic had agreed to the endoscopy, but not an unplanned throat biopsy, during which she stopped breathing.
After the botched procedure, Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital and put into a medically-induced coma. In the days following the sudden health crisis, Joan's daughter Melissa updated fans on her mother's condition and status.
Melissa made her first TV appearance on E!'s Fashion Police: Celebrating Joan special, which aired Sept. 19. "She affected so many people and people you would never expect to have humor," Melissa said. "I received a letter from the White House. From President Obama. Someone who was often a target of her jokes — as well as Mrs. Obama — I received a handwritten note that said, 'Not only did she make us laugh, she made us think.'"
Rivers was laid to rest on Sept. 7. Her funeral, held at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, was attended by stars like Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Howard Stern, Hugh Jackman, Andy Cohen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Margaret Cho, and more.
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