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Joan Rivers Died From Complications Due To Surgery, Medical Examiner Says

The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday that the legendary comedian died after her brain was deprived of oxygen.

Posted on October 16, 2014, at 2:35 p.m. ET

AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office released the cause of death for comedian Joan Rivers, following an autopsy.

In a statement, spokesperson Julie Bolcer said that Rivers's death was caused by "anoxic encephalopathy due to hypoxic arrest during laryngoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with propofol sedation for evaluation of voice changes and gastroesophageal reflux disease."

(In other words, the comedian was sedated with the anesthetic propofol before a procedure to treat voice changes and acid reflux. She died of low blood oxygen to the brain during the surgery.)

Rivers's death has been classified as a "therapeutic complication," which means that it was the result of a "predictable complication" of a medical procedure.

She died on Sept. 4:

Rivers underwent throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan on Aug. 28 when a 911 call was placed saying the comedian stopped breathing. She was immediately rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City where she was placed on life support in a medically induced coma, her family said.