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Comedy legend and fashion police commissioner Joan Rivers remains in serious but stable condition.

Rivers, 81, has been in a medically induced coma at Mount Sinai Hospital since going into cardiac respiratory arrest during outpatient vocal cord surgery Thursday in New York.

That day, her daughter and frequent co-star, Melissa, released a statement to E! News thanking family, friends and fans for their well wishes: "My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world. Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery."

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, medically induced, 24- to 48-hour comas and mild hypothermia are used to slow down metabolism and limit neurological function. This allows the brain to heal after being starved of oxygen during arrest and reducing the odds of long-term brain damage.

After this period, doctors bring the patient out of the coma to determine how much oxygen loss was suffered. After this point, life support may be withdrawn to see whether the patient is able to breathe on his or her own. However, a 2010 study at Johns Hopkins Medical Center found that patients who receive hypothermia treatment may take up to five to seven days longer to wake up.

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