A CDC report documents the intensive care of an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy who contracted tetanus on his Oregon farm. The boy, who survived two months in the ICU, required over one million dollars in healthcare costs.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the child was alert but unable to open his mouth due to lockjaw and severe muscle spasms.
It wasn’t until the 44th day that the boy was disconnected from the ventilator and able to take a few sips of clear liquid. After 57 days in the hospital, the boy was transferred to a rehabilitation center where he would spend the next 17 days.
The hospital bill for the boy’s care totaled $811,929, excluding the cost of air transportation, inpatient rehab and follow-up costs. “This is a self-inflicted wound and an expensive one at that,” said Dr. Albert Wu. “And it cost someone — whether it’s an insurance company or the public — over a million dollars.”