Viral Video Shows ER Doctor Mocking Patient With Anxiety

A California ER doctor was suspended after a viral video shows her cursing at a patient who was brought in for an anxiety attack.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell, a student at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., was taken to El Camino Hospital Los Gatos after collapsing on June 10. The college’s basketball coach told the paper that Bardwell participated in a basketball class for several minutes before having an anxiety attack. The student was taken to the hospital and treated by Dr. Beth Keegstra, whose dismissive behavior were caught on video by the boy’s father, Donald Bardwell.

In the video, Donald can be heard explaining Samuel’s history of anxiety attacks to Keegstra, who is shown pulling on the patient’s arms in an attempt to sit him upright. She can be heard saying, “I’m sorry sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying. There, so you picked your head up. Now don’t try to tell me you can’t move.”

Samuel explains to Keegstra that he has difficulty breathing. She responds by laughing and saying, “He can’t inhale. Wow. He must be dead. Are you dead, sir?”

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Donald intervenes to explain that Samuel has labored breathing, but Keegstra dismisses this and says the patient’s breathing is normal.

Samuel and Keegstra then argue about whether the cause of his pain is attributed to working out or anxiety; The ER doctor accuses Samuel of having an inconsistent story.

“No, you have changed your story every fucking time,” she says. “Yeah that’s how pissed off you’ve gotten me, OK?”

“I’m sorry sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here.”

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Samuel manages his anxiety with medication, but let the prescription lapse, which could have led to the attack.

“He was on medication for his anxiety, but was off his meds for two days because he couldn’t get to the pharmacy before it closed,” Donald explained to the paper. He believes Keegstra thought his son was looking for drugs, and recounts how the doctor brought a security guard into the ER room.

“She didn’t even say hello or ask why he was there, just came in with guns blazing. That’s why I started the video,” Donald said.

Keegstra has worked at El Camino since 2010 as a contractor employed by Vituity, a medical staffing company.

“We are saddened that a patient in our care was affected by this behavior and are working to ensure this never happens again,” company spokeswoman Allison Kundu told the paper in an email. “We are conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”

Keegstra has been removed from all hospitals staffed by Vituity while they investigate the situation.

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