Hotline’s pain remedy: ‘Masturbate and rub oil on your anus’
Hotline’s pain remedy: ‘Masturbate and rub oil on your anus’

Hotline’s pain remedy: ‘Masturbate and rub oil on your anus’

QUEENSLAND Health is investigating a 13 HEALTH hotline nurse who bizarrely told a distressed patient with severe abdominal pain to masturbate under the shower and rub oil on her anus rather than send her immediately to the emergency department.

The health department has offered an apology to the patient in an incident that could have proved highly dangerous.

It is believed the patient had just gone through a serious operation and was in so much pain she had called the hotline in desperation for answers late at night.

This was a textbook case for the 13 Health nurse to advise urgent medical attention at the hospital rather than encouraging her to suffer on at home carrying out highly bizarre remedies. The patient could have been suffering from an internal bleed or infection.

The 13 Health phone help line receives at least 100 calls a day but due to COVID-19 calls have dramatically increased.

The Queensland community relies on being able to get quality medical advice night or day.

Close to 170 RNs work at the call centre on a 24/7 roster and are required to have a minimum of two years recent post grad experience in an acute setting. It is believed the nurse in question has five years experience.

The nurse told the caller to masturbate under the shower and rub oil on her anus rather than send her immediately to the emergency department.
The nurse told the caller to masturbate under the shower and rub oil on her anus rather than send her immediately to the emergency department.

Nurses are not allowed to diagnose patients, that can only be carried out by doctors and the helpline staff have been given strict guidelines on how to respond to patients.

"We apologise for any distress caused to the patient, which is why we took immediate action within 24 hours of the incident," a Queensland Health spokesman said.

Queensland Health assures the community that the advice provided by 13 HEALTH is of a high standard. 

The service is not an emergency service and it doesn't replace medical consultation but it connects Queenslanders to registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide health information.

This advice helps the caller to understand if they need to seek further advice and how urgently it is needed.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Originally published as Hotline's pain remedy: 'Masturbate and rub oil on your anus'


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