Joan Rivers passed away today, Sept. 4, at the age of 81.
UPDATE: Joan Rivers is currently being brought out of her medically induced coma. However there is a concern that her motor skills may be compromised due to the lack of oxygen to her brain when she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest. Joan’s daughter Melissa is waiting to see how her mother will respond.
The waking up process has already begun and is expected to take until Tuesday. (More info below) According to a source, there is a very real possibility that Joan could end up “as either a vegetable, or in a wheelchair.” The full extent of the damage will not be known until Tuesday at the earliest. Check back for future updates on Joan Rivers’ health.
Joan Rivers remains in serious condition and on life support. Joan’s daughter Melissa said in a new statement today that family members are “keeping their fingers crossed” according to ABC News on Aug. 31,despite the fact that Joan remains in critical condition. At this point Joan is completely dependent on life support machines to keep her alive. So far, she is stable, but Mount Sinai Hospital has provided no additional information on her health.
There is real concern about the length of time Joan’s brain was starved of oxygen when she went into. cardiac and respiratory arrest while undergoing a routine procedure on her vocal cords at Yorkville Endoscopy three days ago. Joan was placed in a medically-induced coma within hours so the damage could be assessed.
An article in USAToday.com on Aug. 30 explains that medically induced comas and mild hypothermia are used to slow down metabolism and limit neurological function. This allows the brain to heal after being starved of oxygen. It also reduces the odds of long-term brain damage.
Usually, after 24 to 48 hours, doctors will bring the patient out of the coma to determine how much oxygen loss was suffered. At this point, life support may be withdrawn to see whether the patient is able to breathe on his or her own. Of course, Rivers family members are hopeful that if life support machines are turned off, 81-year-old Joan Rivers’ condition will improve. But there are no guarantees.
The New York Daily News is reporting on Aug. 31 that no decision will be made for the next few days regarding whether or not to remove Joan from life support. However, sources close to the family feel that Melissa Rivers is in denial about her mother’s health.
Meanwhile, family members, including Melissa Rivers, her 13-year-old son, Cooper, and Melissa’s ex-husband, John Endicott are standing vigil by Joan Rivers’ bedside and hoping for the best. Check back for an updated health report.