Venomous snake (illustration)
Venomous snake (illustration) Thinkstock

Never let it be said that taking a "selfie" doesn't come with any dangers attached - especially if you take it with a lethally poisonous snake.

Not only did snapping a July 4 Independence Day "selfie" picture with a rattlesnake prove painful and life-threatening for Todd Fassler of San Diego, California; it also landed him a massive $153,161.24 hospital bill that was to be paid in full within 18 days.

CNN on Sunday reported that Fassler was bit by the rattlesnake during his photographic escapade with it, and according to the man he was left paralyzed and unable to move his body.

"He paralyzed my tongue was sticking out, my eyes were to the side," Fassler earlier told the local 10News.

He received life-saving treatment in the form of an antivenin at a local hospital, and required all the antivenin supplies from two local hospitals during his five days in treatment.

But while the medical attention may have saved his life, it wrought havoc on his finances - he was charged $153,161.24 as soon as he was released on July 9, with the staggering amount due for full payment by July 27, just 18 days later.

The hospital and the insurance company are now arguing over the bill, after Fassler sent a copy of the bill to a local news station along with a picture of his purple swollen arm.

The news has raised an uproar over the American healthcare system in mainstream media.

Most of the bill - over $80,000 - is for "pharmacy" costs given the enormous amount of antivenin. A regular snake bite requires 12 vials of the expensive antivenin, with each vial standing between $2,000 and $5,000.

Currently there is only one antivenin on the market, with critics saying the sticker shock indicates problems caused by a lack of competition.