Comic Joan Rivers was hospitalized in critical condition Thursday morning after she reportedly went into cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure to her vocal cords.
Rivers, 81, was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center after she stopped breathing during the procedure at an endoscopy clinic. Her assistant was reportedly overheard saying Rivers was “not conscious but stable.”
The performer had appeared to be in good health just prior to the procedure. Her family was gathering at her Manhattan apartment.
Top cardiologist Chauncey Crandall, M.D., told Newsmax Health that such heart complications are not rare during throat operations on elderly patients like Rivers.
“Her oxygen level may have dropped too low during sedation, and respiratory arrest could have been the result,” said Dr. Crandall, director of preventative medicine at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic.
When a patient goes into respiratory arrest, this can trigger an irregular heartbeat, which in turn can result in cardiac arrest, he said.
“Respiratory arrest could also have occurred for other reasons. Among the most likely is that she had underlying coronary heart disease or a lung problem, said Dr. Crandall.
It’s impossible to provide a prognosis for Rivers based on the circumstances, he said, but prompt emergency care would be crucial.
Emergency workers responded to a call from the clinic where Rivers was being treated at 9:40 a.m. and transported her Mount Sinai.
The hospital released this statement: “This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to. Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support.”