Recently, the world was shocked by the sudden and untimely death of comedian Joan Rivers. Rivers died from complications that arose during a "routine medical procedure." Now, many are questioning how such a tragedy could have happened to such a strong and vibrant woman. Many are speculating that utilizing a physician's office or out-patient facility for a procedure on an 81-year-old woman must have contributed to her death, while others are questioning what procedure she had and whether it was necessary. Regardless of this speculation, the common concern is if her death could have been prevented.
While the public may never know what actually caused Rivers' death, there are some very important lessons that can be learned from this tragic event. Did Rivers undergo a preoperative (pre-op) examination prior to her surgery? If her procedure had been performed in a specialized medical center (which are generally better equipped should an emergency occur), would she have survived? Finally, what can patients do to minimize their risks during surgery?