Melissa Rivers’ legal team has claimed that the Yorkville Endoscopy Center where comedian Joan Rivers suffered a complication after being admitted for a medical procedure, did not have the life-saving medicine Succinylcholin, which is used to relax a person’s trachea or wind pipe. The actress would still be alive if the doctors had access to a complete crash cart, the team said, TMZ reported Tuesday.
The legal team also reportedly claimed that the clinic's doctors were asleep and failed to notice "deteriorating vital signs" after which her vocal chords went into spasms and shut down, TMZ reported. Succinylcholin would have reportedly opened the comedian's wind pipe giving her more time to breathe. Rivers, 81, died on Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital.
On Monday, TMZ had reported, citing a federal investigation into the actress' death, that the clinic violated protocol while treating her. A staff member also reportedly admitted to making a mistake in administering the correct amount of Propofol, an anesthetic. The latest TMZ report also said that the clinic's doctors did not take proper notes as there was no mention of the amount of Propofol in the actress' blood.
Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who was then the medical director of the clinic, took pictures on his cell phone of Joan and her personal physician Gwen Korovin, who was reportedly present at the clinic without authorization. Cohen also reportedly conducted a laryngoscopy while Joan had only approved an upper endoscopy procedure at the clinic.
Melissa, who is suing the hospital in a multi-million dollar lawsuit for improper care, said in the Monday report by TMZ, that she is "outraged by the misconduct and mismanagement" at the clinic.
Yorkville is at risk of losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding if it does not rectify its procedures by Jan. 7 and pass a surprise inspection, the New York Times reported.