CPR: Carp in Pond Resuscitation

This is a very long and finny (ha ha) story!

One cold and icy spring morning, I went out to check my fishpond for its awakening inhabitants. The weather had been milder for several days prior and the fish had been surfacing to check for food. To my upset and dismay, one of my pond pets was missing. I live in the country so wildlife is not uncommon in my backyard. I thought that perhaps a cat or racoon had a midnight snack of my fish. I searched the foliage surrounding the pond with a glimmer of hope that perhaps this fish had become too active and leapt out of the water. Nothing! Leaving the pond for several minutes, I returned for one last inspection …..Nothing! Wait … from the corner of my eye I caught the glint of beautiful golden scales on the patio several feet away.

Immediately I rushed to my fish and found him lifeless and cold (would a pond gold fish ever be warm?).

My mind quickly went into action. Being an outdoors-y sort of gal, knowing a bit about Mother Nature, and being a CPR instructor, I realized I could perhaps save my scaly little friend if I acted fast. So began my C(arp) in P(ond) R(esusitation). I seized his cold and lifeless body and began to move him through the pond, forcing water (his oxygen and life source) through his gills. Several minutes had elapsed since my discovery of the missing fish. The weather had now begun a slow and icy drizzle, yet I kept on with my rescue. Over and over I pushed him gently through the water. Even with no sign of recovery, I remained undaunted. Over and over. Suddenly I noticed a slight wave of a fin! Had I imagined it? I continued. By this time I was rather cold and icy, yet spurred on by the possibility of restoring his life. After several more moments I began to see definite signs of life and he even started to swim on his own once again. Although he swam slightly tipped to the right, (which I feel was perhaps due to the lack of oxygen to his brain in those first several minutes before is CPR began) he revived!

The fish still lives in that pond many years later and, yes, he is still tipped to the right, but he is here nonetheless because I chose to be his Good Samaritan and didn’t give up on him!

By Anita Fiorentino

Anita is Heart Niagara’s Lead CPR Instructor and has worked for Heart Niagara for over 10 years. Anita regularly teaches community CPR and AED courses as well as youth through the Healthy Heart Schools Program.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.

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