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article imageSnake bite victim gets slapped with a $55k medical bill

By Jonathan Lam     Aug 13, 2013 in Odd News
Maryland - A Maryland woman goes to the hospital to get treated for a vicious snake bite. The good news was that she came out fine, but now she has to pay her medical bills, and it's not cheap.
Jules Weiss wanted to take a photo at an overlook along the George Washington Parkway. She got out of her car, took the picture, and walked back to the car. On her way back though Weiss felt what seemed to be a "bee sting". As she peered down at her foot she discovered two fang marks with liquid coming out.
Weiss was bitten by a copperhead snake and within an hour she said her foot turned "grayish" and started to swell. According to Dr. Peter Bromley, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension Specialist in Zoology, copperhead bites are typically not fatal. Dr. Bromley says, " Small animals, like small dogs, may receive a fatal bite from a copperhead. The venom causes local tissue destruction and secondary infection often sets in. For the most part, if you let snakes alone, they'll leave you alone." Copperheads bite more people in most years than any other U.S species, but they also have the mildest venom.
Weiss said that it is very uncommon to be bitten by a venomous snake in this area, but that was not the shocker. The shocker came in when Weiss received the medical bill for her stay at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., where she received three IV bags of antivenom over 18 hours. The medical bill totaled to $54,819.34.
The average cost of a knee replacement is $17,578 and an open heart surgery costs about $36,645. The Bethesda Hospital explained that the reason for it being so much is because it cost as much as $40,000 to get the antivenom.
Weiss says she does not regret being there that day at the George Washington Parkway. What she does regret is not having any medical insurance. Health insurance would bring the cost down to a few hundred dollars, according to NBC4. But the woman’s insurance had just lapsed. Antivenom involves milking individual snakes and is a costly treatment.
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