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Everyone remembers Joan Rivers, actor, comedian, writer producer for her remarkable, if controversial work. And it was with no shock that the world mourned as it did on her death early in September. The details were sketchy and full of holes at first. Rivers was scheduled to undergo simple tests to find out the reason for the hoarseness in her voice, a simple enough procedure but then what went wrong?
According to Doctors, the procedure was going smoothly until Joan suddenly went into a coma. However, an autopsy carried out at Rivers’ daughters’ request reveals that the Doctors failed to respond when Rivers started to suffocate and gasp for breath during the simple test.
Now, further investigation has revealed that this is not the only case of the Doctors’ incompetence. Melissa Rivers, Joan’s daughter has filed a lawsuit against Rivers’ anesthesiologist Dr. Renuka Reddy Bankulla. She also contended in the lawsuit that this is by no means the first or even the second case of malpractice involving the anesthesiologist. In the past decade, the lady has had two instances of malpractice not counting Rivers.
The lawsuit also targets Dr. Gwen Korovin who is an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.
Both the doctors, typically, have denied the allegations of malpractice.
Bruce Brady, Bankulla’s lawyer has stated that the claims of malpractice are ‘unfounded’. However he refused to comment further on the topic.
Rivers’ daughter spoke to media after filing the law-suit. She said that she was outraged over the gross neglect the doctors had committed. The federal investigation revealed that not only had doctors failed to take note of the comedian’s waning vital signs but had also neglected to check the patient’s weight (which led to her being sedated incorrectly and not according to the recommended dosage as would have been suitable for her weight) as well as performed procedures without prior consent of the patient. The report revealed that certain preoperational and some acts performed during the surgery led to the comedian going into a week-long coma that resulted before her death.
Yorkville Endoscopy, the clinic where Joan’s test was being performed is also under investigation.
Right now it is still unclear as to which company Bankulla was working under when she administered the anesthesia to Rivers.
It isn’t uncommon practice for hospitals to hire anesthesiologists from outside companies. Bankulla herself performed duties for another company in the past known as Somnia Anesthesia. However, their spokesperson clarified that they have had no association with Bankulla in the past four or five years.
Bankulla went to Medical School in India where she has a clean record with no disciplinary actions taken against her.
Previously, Bankulla has settled at least two cases of malpractice. One in 2005 which was settled out of court on an undisclosed amount and the other in 1999 where she administered a painkiller to a Bronx woman during epidural. The woman died shortly after giving birth to her son. This case was settled for an amount of $4 million.