Expired News - Rattlesnake 'selfie' lands man $153,000 hospital bill - The Weather Network
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After trying to take a selfie with the rattlesnake, could this be the beginning of the end to the selfie?

Rattlesnake 'selfie' lands man $153,000 hospital bill

Katie Jones
Digital Reporter

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 2:00 PM - How much would you be willing to pay for a selfie with a snake?

A California man is paying for it in more ways than one after his attempt at wildlife photography went very, very wrong.

On July 4, Todd Fassler was trying to capture a 'selfie' style photo with a live rattlesnake -- when the venomous serpent bit him on the arm.

According to Fassler, the snakebite rendered him paralyzed, causing him to lose control of his body.

The San Diego man was rushed to hospital were he received treatment, including the necessary antivenin. Doctors had to deplete antivenin supplies from two area hospitals to treat Fassler over his five-day stay.

But the agony of being bitten and suffering through painful effects of treatment was nothing compared to what hit Fassler next.

Upon being released from the hospital, he received a bill that came to a whopping $153,161.25.

Fassler sent copy of the bill to a local news station,  along with a video taken his hospital bed and showing the effects of the antivenin on his swollen and bruised arm.

The public revelation of Fassler's hospital charges has been thrust into the national headlines, raising arguments questioning the American healthcare system -- as well as Fassler's clear lack of judgement.

The bulk of his giant bill is attributed to 'pharmacy' costs that total more than $80,000 for the amount of antivenin needed to save Fassler's life. Currently, there is only one commercially available antivenin for treating poisonous snake bites in the United States, and the costs are high.

The average snake bite requires about 12 vials of antivenin to treat, and at a cost of $2,300 per vial, it is one expensive remedy.

So if the total dollar amount was not enough to bowl Fassler over, the payment due date surely would. The bill was issued on July 9, with payment due in full by July 27.

At this time it is not clear is Fassler's bill will be covered by medical insurance, or if he will be stuck paying for it out of pocket.

There are roughly 7,000 to 8,000 venomous snake bites reported in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 100 rattlesnake bites are reported in the state of California annually.


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