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Aussie woman's toilet trauma prompts lav-overhaul call

67-year-old wedged in dunny for seven days

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An Australian doctor has called for a fundamental redesign of the nation's lavatories after a severely dehydrated Queensland woman was freed from a seven-day imprisonment in her dunny.

Doreen Noonan, 67, was trapped in her toilet for a week, with her "feet wedged on either side of the toilet and her body against the inward opening door" the Brisbane Courier-Mail reports. Noonan was only found when her neigbour heard her cries for help as he was hanging out his washing.

After he alerted authorities, she was finally freed by police and paramedics, "very dehydrated but conscious". Noonan was taken to hospital where she was reported to be in a stable condition.

Australian Medical Association's state president Dr Mason Stevenson suggested Noonan could only have survived by drinking water from the toilet cistern or bowl.

"It's very difficult to survive for more than a week without fluid and in fact some who are chronically unwell or very frail may very well die from dehydration after three or four days," he said.

Stevenson said Australia needed to take a long hard look at its karzis if it wanted to prevent similar incidents. "We need to look at the design of bathrooms and toilets and particularly the access," he said. ®

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