If you've ever experienced having an anxiety attack or been by someone's side while they are going through one, you know that it can be a scary thing for everyone involved. In those moments, most people would never even consider downplaying the situation or poking fun at the person in need - except this doctor. Via a cell phone video, this Northern California emergency room doctor was caught on camera while cruelly mocking a patient suffering from an anxiety attack and needed to say, she's been suspended.
Last week, Samuel Bardwell, 20, a new student at West Valley College in Saratoga was rushed to the El Camino Hospital in nearby Los Gatos while he suffered what doctors are saying was a severe anxiety attack. He passed out following the school's first summer basketball workout, ABC News reported.
Upon arriving to the hospital, Bardwell said he had to wait for three hours in the emergency room before Dr. Beth Keegstra, 57, emergency room doctor met with him. The way that he was treated sparked something inside his father, who caught the whole encounter on his phone, in a video that has gone viral with more than 4 million views.
Keegstra tells Bardwell in the video, while pulling on his arms, "Sit up, sit up, sit up! I'm having you sit up!" When he was unable to, things got more aggressive.
"I'm sorry, sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying," the physician is heard in the video telling the patient, who apparently lifted his head to acknowledge the doctor. "There, so you picked your head up. Now don’t try to tell me you can't move. C'mon, sit up."
After that, Bardwell told Keegstra how he felt pain, numbness and couldn't inhale properly. It just got worse from there.
"He can't inhale! Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don't understand, you are breathing just fine," Keegstra said. She then proceeded to accuse him of changing the reason why he came to the emergency room in the first place.
"You're full of s---!" she told Bardwell.
Due to this incident, Dr. Keegstra, who has been a practicing physician for 31 years, has been suspended from all facilities associated with the hospital.
Dan Wood, the chief executive officer of El Camino Hospital, issued a statement saying that "we have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter. Please know that we take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician involved has been removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation."
Bardwell's father did express that his son has a history of dealing with anxiety attacks and takes a medication called takes Klonopin, which is a sedative that treats panic disorders. Several days before he was hospitalized, he had stopped taking the medication because his prescription had run out and he hadn't had enough time to refill it.
The family has contacted a lawyer and is currently considering taking legal action against Dr. Keegstra.
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