The estate of AnnaMary Bakley is suing gastroenterologist Dr. Gabu Bhardwaj and Digestive Disease Associates of North Florida Inc. for medical negligence leading to Bakley’s death in 2016. The lawsuit alleges misdiagnosis of her symptoms. Tests done at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital led doctors there to suspect a gastrointestinal bleed. They transferred her to North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville for specialized care. The medical staff at NFRMC has eleven gastroenterology physicians.
Bakley complained of severe abdominal pain which Dr. Bhardwaj diagnosed as obstructive jaundice. She was scheduled for an MRI the following day. In the night, she went into cardiac arrest and died from hemorrhagic shock. Healthline.com tells us:
Hypovolemic shock, also known as hemorrhagic shock, is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20 percent (one-fifth) of your body’s blood or fluid supply. This severe fluid loss makes it impossible for the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to your body. Hypovolemic shock can lead to organ failure. This condition requires immediate emergency medical attention.
The medical negligence complaint charges Dr. Bhardwaj with misdiagnosis leading to her death. The lawsuit alleges that her symptoms should have alerted him to check for a gastrointestinal bleed instead offering her non-emergency treatment. Mrs. Bakley was a former caregiver at a retirement and assisted living facility in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Gastroenterologists care for patients with medical conditions such as gastrointestinal bleeding or inflammatory bowel disease. When an error in diagnosis leads to incorrect or delayed treatment, a patient’s condition may become worse, and possibly fatal. Medical malpractice lawsuits may be filed following the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of gastrointestinal conditions. While a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis itself is not evidence of negligence, the medical standard of care provided is evaluated to determine whether allegations of medical negligence are founded. Gastroenterology expert witnesses play a key role in disputing the validity of those allegations or supporting charges of negligence by providing unbiased testimony to the court.