LOS GATOS (KPIX) – A South Bay hospital has suspended an emergency room physician after she was recorded mocking and laughing at a patient.
Samuel Bardwell said he was rushed by ambulance to El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos after collapsing during basketball practice on Monday. He was not able to speak, was numb and in a lot of pain at the time.
Bardwell said he suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks and this was the worst one yet.
“It’s just heartbreaking because I’ve seen him go in and out of consciousness,” Donald Bardwell, Samuel’s father, told KPIX 5.
Donald raced to his son’s side. But then, they said they waited for hours while the doctor joked and laughed with the nurses.
“Waiting and waiting and then the nurses would come in and say, ‘It’s going to be a few more minutes,'” the father recalled.
More than three hours after arriving, Dr. Beth Keegstra finally showed up at Samuel’s bedside, but with a security guard in tow.
“I was just like, ‘Why would there be security, when I have done nothing wrong?'” Samuel said.
That’s when Samuel asked his father to get his cellphone ready and record.
“I’m sorry, sir. You were the least sick of all the people who were here who are dying,” Keegstra was heard saying on the video. “You want us to wheel you to your house in a gurney?”
When Samuel said he could not inhale, the doctor responded by laughing. “He can’t inhale? Wow. He must be dead! Are you dead, sir?”
The video also shows the doctor yanking Samuel’s arm when he could not sit up. She was also recorded cussing several times.
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KPIX 5 asked Samuel if he did anything to provoke the doctor. “No. I was completely calm the whole time,” he said.
A spokesperson for El Camino Hospital told KPIX 5 in a statement, “We are saddened and disappointed by the physician’s unprofessional interaction with the patient in the video. The physician is a contracted provider and has been removed from our ER schedule.”
“I think she needs to be terminated. On top of that, the hospital needs to be investigated,” Samuel said.
Samuel and his father believe the doctor thought they were just there to ask for narcotics. Tests eventually performed on Samuel showed he was dehydrated. He was given fluids, along with anti-anxiety and pain medications.