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Health department investigating Joan Rivers' outpatient surgery that led to cardiac arrest

Joan Rivers attends Michigan Avenue magazine's party celebrating

Joan Rivers attends Michigan Avenue magazine's party celebrating "Women Of Influence" at Neiman Marcus on May 27, 2014 in Chicago. Credit: Getty Images / Jeff Schear

The New York State Health Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding comic Joan Rivers' cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure.

Spokesman James O'Hare said Thursday that the department is looking into "the whole matter," but declined to discuss specifics.

The 81-year-old red carpet commentator was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan Aug. 28 after she stopped breathing at a doctor's office during a morning procedure to examine her vocal cords. She was then placed in a medically induced coma.

Her family had said Wednesday that Rivers had been moved from intensive care into a private room, where she was "being kept comfortable."

Melissa Rivers announced her mother's death in a statement Thursday afternoon, saying she had "passed peacefully" at 1:17 p.m.

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