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Did Joan Have To Die? Rivers Passed Medical Clearance Before Surgery, Source Says — How Doctors May Have Saved Her

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Sep. 5 2014, Published 6:42 a.m. ET

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At 81 years old, Joan Rivers was still going strong in the days before her death, making several high-energy appearances on-stage and on TV. To anyone watching, it would have seemed unbelievable that she’d be gone in just a few days — and RadarOnline.com has learned that insiders claim she didn’t have to die. According to a source close to the family, Rivers was given a clean bill of health prior to the surgery, and insiders believe she could have lived if the procedure that ultimately killed her had taken place at a hospital instead of an out-patient clinic.

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Before undergoing a standard endoscopy on August 28, “Joan was given full medical clearance, including approval from her cardiologist,” an insider told Radar. "Apart from all of the cosmetic procedures Joan had had, she was in very good health for an 81-year-old woman. There was no indication from a medical standpoint that Joan should have suffered from any complications. It was a routine procedure that should have taken less than an hour, two hours in recovery, and then she would have gone home the same day.”

But sadly, Joan fell into cardiac and respiratory arrest. She was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, where she died on Thursday afternoon.

And now, Radar has learned, her daughter Melissa is telling friends that her mother could have survived if the endoscopy procedure had taken place in a hospital instead of the outpatient clinic.

Sources close to Melissa believe "that if Joan had the endoscopy at a hospital, she could have survived, because they are equipped to deal with a patient that crashes or suddenly has a problem,” an insider said. "Outpatient clinics just aren't equipped to handle those sort of emergencies.

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“But Joan trusted her gastroenterologist, and had no reservations about having the endoscopy done at Yorkville,” the source explained, and it proved fatal.

"Even though it only took less than ten minutes to transfer Joan to Mount Sinai, that was critical time that was lost in transit,” the source said. "Melissa is just trying to process how this all happened. It's just beyond sad and tragic."

She opened up about her beloved mother’s passing in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon," Melissa said.

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