Man with tiny cat scratches abandons hospital ER after learning rabies jabs might cost more than $40,000

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as reported by WWAY3: Shyam Patil was scratched by a stray cat. You can see in the photograph that they were tiny scratches but he was advised by his doctor to get a rabies shot just in case because the skin had been broken. His doctor told him to go to ER (Emergency Room) because the shot isn’t normally available at clinics.

Tiny cat scratches
Tiny cat scratches
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Patil had no idea of the cost of rabies jabs. But he appears to have googled the cost of them while in ER and was so stunned by the search results, one of which referred to a bill of more than $40,000, that he immediately abandoned ER after asking the doctors and nurses what it would cost. They were unable to provide him with a figure.

He was, however, billed over $2,500 just for walking into ER. It is an admin bill. That shocked him too. The bill shows that the rabies shot would have cost over $13,000.

Massive bill for walking into ER
Massive bill for walking into ER. The bill shows that the rabies shots would have cost $13k.

He’s still living! I don’t think he has rabies but he said that it’s almost better to be dead than having a $48,000 debt around your neck for years to come. An interesting thought. I don’t think rabies jabs for humans in the US always cost around $40,000 or whatever the enormous figure is. But they do cost thousands of dollars nonetheless (as seen above) and it does beg the question whether you should have a rabies jab even if rabies is fatal.

It’s a question of risk and reward. How many people acquire rabies from stray cat scratches? Cat haters will say that stray cats infect people with rabies every day of the week in their thousands in America. I think it’s very rare and therefore if you get a scratch from a stray cat I don’t think you have to dive into the nearest hospital and write an enormous cheque (check) for rabies jabs. But that’s just my way of thinking. Although, I am sure there’s somebody out there who would disagree with me vehemently.

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