Does CPR Work on Birds? Video of Glasgow Woman Giving Mouth-to-Mouth to a Pigeon Goes Viral [Watch]
A woman in Glasglow, Scotland has been filmed doing a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a dead bird.
The video, which immediately went viral after it was tweeted by a user named Charlotte, baffled people, prompting them to ask -- does CPR work on birds?
Noha Abou-Madi, a wildlife veterinarian with the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Center at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals told Audobon.org that birds are rescued in the same way humans would be, only with a few modifications.
Experts warn that birds are obviously smaller than humans, as such they are more fragile. Pumping the bird's chest might cause a rib to break. CPR is also done only if there is no respiration, no clear airway and no pulse or heartbeat. If the bird has a pulse or is still breathing, resuscitation without the need for CPR is okay.
To check for a heartbeat, you need to know a bit of the bird's anatomy.
"The heart is basically centrally located far beneath the breast muscles, and under the keel bone, almost midpoint along the length of the keelbone," Exotic Pet Vet said.
The nostrils are under its beak. You can check for clear airway by slightly pulling out its tongue.
Noha Abou-Madi cited that it is not advisable to do a mouth-to-mouth with a bird as they might carry diseases that could be transmitted to humans. Experts usually use "intubation."
"Placing a tube inside the trachea so that we can assist and breathe for [the bird]," Abou-Madi explains, citing that air is pumped into its lungs until its starts to breathe independently.
As such, we can say that the woman in the video indeed risked her life to save the bird. Yahoo News said a series of post by the Twitter user suggested the CPR worked. Sadly, the pigeon was later eaten by a seagull.