Joan Rivers' Death Highlights Risks of Surgical Complications


Perioperative cardiac arrest due to anesthetics does not occur frequently, but still represents a serious surgical risk.

Although perioperative cardiac arrest due to anesthetics occurs just 10.8% of time, according to the Mayo Clinic, it represents the most serious complication and can have devastating results, as witnessed by the recent death of comedian Joan Rivers, reports.

The 81-year-old’s heart stopped while under anesthesia during a throat surgery at a Manhattan clinic on Aug. 28, according to the New York Times. Following the complication, Rivers was hospitalized and put on life support. Although her daughter earlier said there was a chance her mother could be taken off life support by the weekend, Rivers passed away on Thursday, Sept. 4.

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