Joan Rivers, the 81-year-old comedienne, is in a stable but critical condition in hospital after a health scare this week. The host of E!'s Fashion Police was rushed to New York City on Thursday (August 28, 2014) after she stopped breathing while undergoing a minor procedure at a medical clinic.

Joan RiversJoan Rivers remains in hospital [Getty/Jeff Schear]

The hospital released the following statement, "This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to. Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support. We will provide an update on her condition as it becomes available."

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Rivers' daughter Melissa, 46, and son Cooper, 13, have flown to New York to be by their mother's side.

Police said they have responded to an emergency call about an 81-year-old woman and transported her to a nearby hospital. 

"They were putting a scope down her throat to check her vocal cords," a source said. "She stopped breathing. This was not major surgery."

Just a day earlier, Joan had attended an event in New York to promote her new book. According to those present, she had been in typically good spirits, "had a lot of energy" and was "cracking jokes". The comedienne has cancelled a show in New York.

"Dear @Joan_Rivers - praying for you. Please get well soon. We need you to keep us laughing!" said Joan Collins on Twitter.

"Good luck and best wishes to my dear friend, the wonderful and very talented Joan Rivers!  Winner of Celebrity Apprentice, amazing woman," said Donald Trump.

"Hang in there @Joan_Rivers  So many awful gowns are going to be worn this year as bait for you pull through.  Love and prayers Court," said Courtney Love.