South Bay

Controversy Surrounds Los Gatos Doctor's Handling of Emergency Room Patient

An emergency room doctor has been cut from her shifts at a South Bay hospital because of her treatment of a patient.

The patient said the doctor was physically and verbally abusive after he was brought in by ambulance. The video shows her grabbing his arm, mocking him, and cursing at him.

The patient, Samuel Bardwell, said his arm is still in pain after Dr. Beth Keegstra yanked him. Bardwell said he left El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos early just to avoid another confrontation.

Bardwell's father recorded the incident at the hospital as Dr. Keegstra administered care to his son. The 20-year-old Bardwell collapsed after basketball practice Monday night and was rushed to El Camino Hospital. He said he waited three hours to see a doctor, and when she finally came was accompanied by a security guard.

"I knew exactly from when she brought the security guard that it was going to be hostile," Bardwell said.

Bardwell is a sophomore at West Lake College, where he plays on the school's basketball team. The 7'1" power forward suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks. He said this incident left him unconscious and numb from head to toe.

"It's very fatal because my eyes were rolled to the back of my head," he said. "I could not see. I could not talk. My breathing was getting lower and lower."

But once at the hospital, Bardwell said the doctor was dismissive of his symptoms -- mocking and cursing at him.

Bardwell said he still does not understand what triggered the doctor to become so abusive. He said he left the hospital without being fully treated to avoid further injury.

"I wanted to get out of there because I didn't know if it was going to escalate to the point where she was going to do something worse than she already did," Bardwell said.

El Camino Hospital said it has been in contact with Bardwell and has offered an apology. The hospital said the doctor, a contractor, has been removed from its ER schedule.

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