The death of comedy legend Joan Rivers after she went into cardiac arrest during a seemingly-routine medical procedure has prompted a good deal of discussion about the dangers of anesthesia. It has not yet been confirmed what type of anesthesia was used on the 81-year-old comedienne for the endoscopic procedure she was reportedly undergoing. However, as one doctor wrote in a Sept. 5 article on the Fox News website, the greatest risk for older people in endoscopies is the anesthesia rather than the procedure itself.
Anesthesia of some type is necessary for just about all surgical procedures. The administration of the anesthesia as well as the monitoring of the patient while he or she is under anesthesia is crucial to the patient's safety. Anesthesia errors can have severe and even fatal ramifications regardless of the patient's age.