The malpractice suit filed by Joan Rivers' daughter, Melissa alleges that Joan Rivers' throat doctor, Gwen Korovin panicked and left the room when Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure.
According to Korovin’s lawyer, William Lewis, the allegations filed in the malpractice suit are wrong, and “Not only did [Korovin] never leave the room, she was the last doctor to leave the room after Miss Rivers was taken away by E.M.S. in an ambulance."
This allegation is the first of what is likely to be a hurricane of accusations being thrown during the lawsuit. The facts of the incident remain fuzzy. Ms. Rivers died Sept. 4, just seven days after she went into cardiac and reparatory arrest during a procedure to examine her throat and digestive system.
Fled the Procedure Room
Dr. Korovin is an ear, nose, and throat doctor at Yorkville Endoscopy, an Upper East Side clinic, where the procedure was done. According to Jeffrey B. Bloom, lawyer for Melissa Rivers, Dr. Renuka Bankulla (the anesthesiologist during the procedure) provided a handwritten statement that says Dr. Korovin fled the procedure room right when doctors were attempting to revive Rivers. According to Dr. Bankulla, when Rivers stopped breathing she looked to Dr. Korovin to perform a cricothyrotomy (an emergency neck incision done to open up an airway) but “she could not be found in the procedure room."
The lawsuit goes on to allege that Korovin left the room because she lacked the credentials necessary to practice at the clinic, and thus, “wanted to avoid getting caught."
Medical Staff Failure
No official determination of fault has been in the case but the malpractice lawsuit claims Rivers died as the result of the closing of her vocal cords which caused lack of oxygen and thus brain damage, and the failure of on-hand medical staff to notice that the comedienne’s vital signs were declining.