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Thread: Sssssnake Bites

  1. #21
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I also heard recently of someone getting rattlesnake bit and ending up with a $150,000+ hospital bill, $83,000 just for the antivenom.
    You are right about the cost. Unbelievably high. Had a friend dicking around with a small rattlesnake. Got bit on the finger and the cost was about what you stated. Crazy expensive.

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    I would think that this treatment is insured under any health plan. And that the amount actually paid by the insurance company for the treatment would be a tiny fraction of that amount billed. Only people who are uninsured and have no negotiating power ever face that kind of ridiculous charge.

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    I ran a search for hospital costs for snakebites and they tend to range from 100K to 200K.

    A single shot of copperhead anti-venom can run $125,000. It is only made in Australia and you have to milk the snakes.

    Rattlesnake anti-venom is $5000 per vial up to $20,000 per vial depending, but it takes an average of 12 of them for treatment.

    I found one link about a 12 year old who got bit by a large Diamondback (they have the worst venom in North America) and it took more than 75 vials for his treatment. The bill for his treatment was $1.6 million (not a typo).

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/2...CLES/130619841

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    Well, that's a good reason to buy health insurance!

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    This is kind of fun info.

    5-6 people die in the US each year from snakebites out of 7-8000 people bitten.

    The most dangerous snake in the US is the Eastern Diamondback (but it is only 23rd on the global list) because it normally injects very large amounts of venom.

    The Coral snake has the most toxic venom, but they normally only bite if you pick them up. So.....I have a hint.

    The Cottonmouth is the most aggressive.

    But there is no snake in the US which does not try and avoid striking you. It is like a last resort for them so it is pretty much your fault if it happens.

    A bite which does not inject venom is called a dry bite. Rattlesnakes only (!!) inject venom 20-25% of the time. Pretty understanding on their part. So if you are bit assume you got venom. Viper bites apparently hurt like crazy.

    Most bites in the US come from Copperheads. But they are the least dangerous of the venomous snakes in the US.

    Here is a good one for those afraid of spiders. More people die from spider bites each year in the US than snake bites....hmmm. All those cobwebs in the morning for the early starters??

    Here is a good one. 20,000-94,000 people a year die from snakebites globally. Yikes!

    An interesting link below.

    http://snakesarelong.blogspot.com/20...snakebite.html

  6. #26
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I would think that this treatment is insured under any health plan. And that the amount actually paid by the insurance company for the treatment would be a tiny fraction of that amount billed. Only people who are uninsured and have no negotiating power ever face that kind of ridiculous charge.
    You might want to check out your assumption. Some insurances will not cover snake bites

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    You might want to check out your assumption. Some insurances will not cover snake bites
    I don't see how that's even remotely possible with any comprehensive plan. I might check with my insurer anyway but in the past they have indicated that any back country injury is covered although there is some ambiguity on the cost of evacuation services.

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    Most snake bites involve males and alcohol.
    Many snake bites in the wild by mature snakes are dry as well. A mature snake knows it cant kill you and doesnt want to waste its venom.
    An immature snake is more likely to envenomate you.

    Watch where you put hands, and feet, and you have nothing to worry about.
    Snakes will avoid YOU if you allow them to.

    On an established trail, someone will help. Either by phone, spot, or hiking out at next road, etc. Best you can do is stay put , immobilize, wait for help,
    If you dont expect to encounter others, proceed out yourself .

  9. #29

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    If you got nothing better to do and want a laugh riot, check out the snakes I've seen on my backpacking trips---(Not relevant to the PCT but pit vipers are the same everywhere---and we don't have black mambas or fer de lances or bushmasters . . . yet).

    https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/snakes/



    Copperhead on the Bald River trail. Not easy to see.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I don't see how that's even remotely possible with any comprehensive plan. I might check with my insurer anyway but in the past they have indicated that any back country injury is covered although there is some ambiguity on the cost of evacuation services.
    Having just made the same inquiry, there was no indication any accident or injury would not be covered. They do cover emergency ambulance (which includes vehicle type or air ambulance), but do not cover EMS services in the back country or costs of extraction to a point conventional ambulance service can take me to a hospital.

    I would imagine insurance plans, including bare bones catastrophic insurance plans would cover snake bites. $150k to me would be catastrophic care and the sole purpose of having that policy in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I also heard recently of someone getting rattlesnake bit and ending up with a $150,000+ hospital bill, $83,000 just for the antivenom.
    The commentary I saw on that $150,000.00 treatment concerned the near-impossibility of understanding a hospital bill. It was pointed out that the sum included hospital charges of $9,000/day, which they wryly pointed out would be more than enough to rent a lovely Caribbean island for a similar stay.
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    Antivenom is a very particular market.

    Almost no one needs it, but those who need it, need it now and genuinely need it.

    In order to support the very limited market, a supply needs to be readily available across a large geographic area (made even larger by owners of exotic venomous critters) but the supply is date sensitive.

    It's a perfect situation to create exorbitant bills for the product.

    Medical supply is a business. Facilities cost money, salaries cost money, actually harvesting venom and producing antivenin costs money, transport costs money, yadda yadda yadda.

    I'm not saying that the costs aren't being inflated beyond what the average person would say they should - but I don't know that they have, either.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    If you got nothing better to do and want a laugh riot, check out the snakes I've seen on my backpacking trips---(Not relevant to the PCT but pit vipers are the same everywhere---and we don't have black mambas or fer de lances or bushmasters . . . yet).


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsaG8rJGlyQ

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    I've taken Wilderness Remote First Aid w/ the Boy Scouts several times over the years. The Extractor has come up for discussion in those classes. Basically, they are almost useless for extracting snake venom. But, I have carried them a few times on desert hikes w/ some youngsters. I'll show them how it works before hand. In the unlikely event that one of them gets bitten, they wouldn't freak out so much. I'd activate my SPOT or InReach device for emergency help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    If you got nothing better to do and want a laugh riot, check out the snakes I've seen on my backpacking trips---(Not relevant to the PCT but pit vipers are the same everywhere---and we don't have black mambas or fer de lances or bushmasters . . . yet).

    https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/snakes/



    Copperhead on the Bald River trail. Not easy to see.
    That quite the collection of snake photos. Ive never seen that many snakes in my life. You must have a great eye for spotting those invisible creatures

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlZ993 View Post
    I've taken Wilderness Remote First Aid w/ the Boy Scouts several times over the years. The Extractor has come up for discussion in those classes. Basically, they are almost useless for extracting snake venom. But, I have carried them a few times on desert hikes w/ some youngsters. I'll show them how it works before hand. In the unlikely event that one of them gets bitten, they wouldn't freak out so much. I'd activate my SPOT or InReach device for emergency help.
    You should have a good reason for everything in your pack, otherwise you're not getting your pack as light as possible. The Extractor and other snake bite kits are at best harmless and most likely are harmful. The reliable medical evaluations show that they do more harm than good in the hands of persons that understand how to use them and do a lot of harm in in hands of those that have no clue what they're doing. To say you're carrying one is to say you're ignorant or are willing to inflict harm on someone because you don't have a tool that works and you rather do harm than to do nothing. I can understand someone carrying a camp chair though I wouldn't do it. I just don't understand carrying a device that at best will do just a bit of harm instead of a lot of harm.

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    CroFab (anti-venom for all of North America's venomous snakes) is extremely high compared to others across the world. I'd much rather get bit (cost wise, not saying I would want to get bit by any snake in general) by an exotic snake because the bills wouldn't be as high (for most of the time). Don't bother getting any 'snake bite kits', plain and simple, they don't work. Best thing you can do is keep calm and see if you can get to a place with people to call for help, which would be pretty hard, knowing that I'd be freaking out a bit aha.

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    They sell two suction cups that are shaped like oversized thimbles and they fit together into a small container the size of a 35mm film canister...might find one of those if you can dual purpose it as a container to hold something. Google "snake bite suction cups."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    They sell two suction cups that are shaped like oversized thimbles and they fit together into a small container the size of a 35mm film canister...might find one of those if you can dual purpose it as a container to hold something. Google "snake bite suction cups."
    Sadly, those don't work. They'll only be for on purpose, holding something.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredt4 View Post
    You should have a good reason for everything in your pack, otherwise you're not getting your pack as light as possible. The Extractor and other snake bite kits are at best harmless and most likely are harmful. The reliable medical evaluations show that they do more harm than good in the hands of persons that understand how to use them and do a lot of harm in in hands of those that have no clue what they're doing. To say you're carrying one is to say you're ignorant or are willing to inflict harm on someone because you don't have a tool that works and you rather do harm than to do nothing. I can understand someone carrying a camp chair though I wouldn't do it. I just don't understand carrying a device that at best will do just a bit of harm instead of a lot of harm.
    The Extractor is also recommended for wasps, hornets, spiders, bees, etc. I understand some people don't think they are effective, but I haven't read that they can do harm. I'm not sure this device is much like devices that are known to do harm - like the tourniquet used years ago. Point me to some contrary information.
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