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  • THREE PHYSICIAN ANESTHESIOLOGIST SETTLE AFTER PART IN JOAN RIVERS DEATH



    Renuka Bankulla the main PHYSICIAN ANESTHESIOLOGIST and two other anesthesiologists settled out of court for Joan Rivers death. The lawyers for the Rivers family, Jeffrey Bloom and Ben Rubinowitz, said they did not reveal the amount of the settlement because they wanted to focus on improving patient care. But they said it was “substantial.”

    The PHYSICIAN ANESTHESIOLOGIST agreed not to contest the suit’s findings. A spokesman for Yorkville Endoscopy said: “The parties agreed to settle this case to avoid protracted litigation. We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate health care services.”

    Melissa Rivers said in a statement that she was happy to be “able to put the legal aspects of my mother’s death behind me and ensure that those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation.”

    The PHYSICIAN ANESTHESIOLOGIST Dr. Bankulla realized that Ms. Rivers was “suffering from an airway obstruction and/or laryngospasm,” a closing of the vocal cords, but did not demand a “crash cart,” which might have had a drug like succinylcholine to relax Ms. Rivers’s muscles and allow insertion of a breathing tube.

    According to the malpractice suit that followed, physicians at the clinic violated several safety protocols and failed to respond properly when Ms. Rivers suffered a laryngospasm and eventually went into cardiac arrest. She died 7 days later at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after being taken off life support.

    CERTIFIED REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETISTS (CRNA) are highly trained anesthesia professionals who are experts in airway management including placing a needle cricothyrotomy. Part of that training involves learning to recognize critical events when they are happening and react immediately. While physician anesthesiologists have similar training we can only speculate that Joan Rivers might be alive today if a more vigilant provider had been in the room.

    When Seconds Count you want a vigilant and competent provider at your side and clearly initials do not guarantee competence.