I did CPR on a hamster. It worked!
Our department was called out to a structure fire. We got on scene within a couple minutes and 2 other engines were already on scene, one team doing a search, and the other working the fire from the inside.
I was the new guy, and they needed help getting personal items out (We would ask people if they had pets, or photo albums that we could try to get out). We figured out that there were hamsters in a cage in the dinning room. We went in and grabbed the cage, and some photo albums and brought them out.
One of the hamsters in the cage was running around like crazy; the other was on his side, looking rather dead. I brought the cage over to the kid that lived in the house. He saw the dead hamster and started to cry. I tried apologizing, explaining that it wouldn’t have been painful. The kid looks up at me asks me to take the hamster to the ambulance and try and fix him.By this time the fire was out, everyone was safe and we had an extra medic unit on scene to help check the firefighters after they were working hard inside the building.
I looked over at my chief, and he tells me;
“Go for it, show the kid we tried everything to try and save his hamster so he can have a sense of closure”.
We took the kids family over to the unused medic unit, and put the hamster on a chux pad on the gurney. I had a feline O2 mask for when we pull cats out of burning building, it was small, but it fit over the top half the hamster.
With tiny little chest compressions going, and oxygen flowing we sat there for a couple minutes doing the best CPR we could. The kids family was at the back of the open ambulance all cheering the little hamster on. We figured we would go for a few minutes and then tell the kids we did everything we could, so sorry…all of a sudden I see the hamster is trying to roll over!
Holy crap, the hamster is actually coming back from hamster heaven.
I picked the little guy up and had him in the palm of my had with the mask blowing O2 into his face. I was rubbing his little belly, and he was twitching a bit (I was getting excited at this point), and then all of a sudden the hamster rolls over and clamps down on the webbing of skin between my thumb and forefinger. I had the urge to throw the thing, but keep my cool and pull him off my hand.
We gave the hamster back to the kid and told him that he might want to have a vet take a look as we couldn’t really treat the guy very well.
About a week later we got a card in the mail from the kid and family. In crayon was a drawing of an ambulance with a giant hamster in the bed in the back. It was adorable. I assume it is still on the wall somewhere in that department.
By ~ CaptFluffyBunny