Tags: joan | rivers | death | pain | suffer | coma

Joan Rivers Didn't Suffer: Doctor

By Charlotte Libov   |   Friday, 05 Sep 2014 10:15 AM

Joan Rivers suffered no pain at the end, likely passing away peacefully and unaware of her grave medical condition, a top doctor says.
 
The 81-year-old comic legend died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure on her throat for which she was sedated.
 
Special: Warning Signs of a 'Silent' Heart Attack

“Anyone who has ever had general anesthesia knows that you wait for it to get started and the next thing you realize, it’s over,” Marc Leavey, M.D., told Newsmax Health.
 
“She likely felt nothing. Maybe she had a period of a dream state early on, but all of us who have had surgery know that you lose that block of time and when you awaken, you don’t remember anything about it,” said Dr. Leavey, an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
 
After going into cardiac arrest at an outpatient clinic, Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan where she was put into a medically induced coma. She was unconscious on life support for more than week before she died. Likewise, the performer  in all probability did not suffer during this time, Dr. Leavey said.
 
During a medically induced coma, the drug propofol or some other medication is used to maintain an anesthetic effect. The amount is carefully balanced so that even as a patient is unconscious their organs continue to function and they can heal, with the hope they will be able to be gradually returned to consciousness, Dr. Leavey said. Patients who have awakened from a medically induced coma generally say they felt nothing.
 
Rivers’ death was announced shortly after she was taken from Mount Sinai’s intensive care unit and moved to a private room. That announcement was most likely an indication that Rivers’ family had agreed to take the star off life support. A private room is considered a more comfortable place than an ICU for a family to gather as a loved one passes away, said Sister Kathleen Dauses, chaplain at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium, Md.
 
“That decision probably came after the doctors had spent time explaining to Melissa Rivers that her mother had suffered so much brain damage that she would never recover and given her time to come to grips with it,” Sister Dauses told Newsmax Health.
 
Special: Are You Eating the Deadliest Foods in America? Read This List.

In cases such as Joan Rivers’, it is often comforting for the family to know that a loved one died without pain or physical distress, said Sister Dauses.

© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
2Share
Headline
Joan Rivers suffered no pain at the end, likely passing away peacefully and unaware of her grave medical condition, a top doctor says. The 81-year-old comic legend died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure on her throat for which she was...
joan, rivers, death, pain, suffer, coma
420
2014-15-05
 

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved