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By Eric Ting, SFGATE
The patient, 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell, was hospitalized on Monday after suffering an anxiety attack following a basketball practice.
Bardwell’s father Donald told SFGATE that his son has a history of anxiety attacks, and that he takes Klonopin, a sedative that can treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety.
However, Samuel had not taken any Klonipin in the days leading up to the anxiety attack.
Bardwell brought his son to the emergency room, where they encountered Dr. Beth Keegstra, who was tasked with treating Samuel.
“She never first came in and introduced herself,” Bardwell said. “She never said her name, she never asked for his name, she never really examined him.”
Bardwell said that Keegstra accused them of coming in for drugs, and tried to get them to leave.
“She said, ‘I know why you people are here, you people who come here for drugs,’ and I said ‘What do you mean you people?'” Bardwell said. “She was rambling on so angrily that’s why I pulled out my phone.”
Bardwell recorded the rest of the interaction and uploaded the video to Facebook, where it has been seen over 3.5 million times and shared over 95,000 times.
In the video, Donald Bardwell can be heard telling Keegstra that he saw his son “go in and out of consciousness.”
Keegstra responds by saying that Samuel is “completely alert and awake right now,” and tells the patient that he is “the least sick of all the people that are here.”
Later in the video, Samuel tells Keegstra that he “could not inhale,” causing Keegstra to laugh and proclaim, “He can’t inhale, wow! He must be dead!”
Bardwell said Keegstra brought a security guard in with her when she first examined his son.
“I guess she was so angry and assumed he was a druggie and had drugs in his system, she thought she could talk to us any which way we wanted,” Bardwell said.
In a news release, El Camino Hospital stated that Keegstra has been “removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation.”
“This week, a patient who visited the emergency department at our Los Gatos campus had an interaction with a physician whose demeanor was unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care through El Camino Hospital,” the hospital said. “We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter.”
Per her LinkedIn profile, Keegstra has over 20 years of experience in emergency medicine.
A day after uploading the video to Facebook, Bardwell said that some “naysayers” thought they went to the emergency room in order to obtain drugs.
In another Facebook post, Bardwell wrote, “For all the naysayers that thought we were somehow in that ER for drugs,” and attached a message from someone who reached out to the family regarding Benzodiazepine withdrawals.
“I believe he was experiencing Benzodiazepine withdrawal from Klonopin which would cause severe vomiting, panic attacks, loss of consciousness, chest pains, and the inability to sit up or move along with many more symptoms,” the message reads.
Bardwell said that his son took Klonopin only when he felt like he needed it.
“He was just taking it when he felt bad, and not all the time,” Bardwell said, “That’s something we learned after we posted the video and people reached out to us, how bad this medication can be.”