US snake bite victim slapped with USD 55K hospital bill

For this snake-bite victim, the sting didn`t hurt as much as the hospital bill.

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2013, 13:49 PM IST

Washington: For this snake-bite victim, the sting didn`t hurt as much as the hospital bill.

A US woman was shocked when she was presented with a staggering USD 55,000 hospital bill for treating her snake bite.

Jules Weiss stopped for a scenic overlook near the Potomac River in suburban Virginia last month when she was bit on the foot by a poisonous copperhead snake, `NBC Washington` reported.

"It felt like a bad bee sting. I got to my car, turned on the light and there were two fang marks with liquid coming out," Weiss said.

Within an hour, her foot started to balloon, turning a "grayish" colour. Weiss went to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, where doctors gave her three doses of anti-venom over the course of 18 hours.

As if the experience wasn`t horrifying enough, Weiss received a hospital bill for nearly USD 55,000.

"I kind of went numb... I don`t know if there`s a way to process that," Weiss said.
While insurance can bring treatment cost down to a few hundred dollars, Weiss` insurance had just lapsed, the report said.

Anti-venom is made through a complex process of milking many snakes, making treatment costly. It has even reached a whopping USD 780,000 for one woman`s cure.

The treatment can cost USD 40,000 or more to obtain anti-venom, according to hospital officials.

PTI