Death of rocker Tom Petty a reminder of deadly heart condition, CPR training

Death of rocker Tom Petty a reminder of deadly heart condition, CPR training

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Last week - The world lost rock legend Tom Petty at the age of 66 to cardiac arrest.

His death is a reminder for many on how quickly the condition can become deadly if you can't get help.

According to The American Heart Association cardiac arrest is fatal 90% of the time.

In Tom Petty's 9-1-1 call obtained by TMZ you can hear two people trying to help Petty in full cardiac arrest, but neither knew CPR.

Irene Reynolds, a CPR instructor for 15 years, said if you aren't revived within minutes the damage is irreversible.

The beat of a heart is music to the ears of every first responder.

"People never know when they're going to have the incidents and need CPR," said Reynolds, a CPR instructor for The American Heart Association.

Reynolds teaches CPR at St. Francis Medical Center.

"There's no predictable time to do that. The big thing is having the confidence that you can react if you see someone go down to do that," Reynolds said.

Rocker Tom Petty died at sixty-six years old last week of cardiac arrest.

Something Reynolds said can strike anyone at any time.

Kathy Leimer - a nurse for 30 years- got re-certified today.

"Every 90 seconds somebody has an event, and then if a bystander or anybody wherever you're at knows CPR you're right there," Leimer said.

Leimer said she's had to use C-P-R not only at work, but once at church.

"A child was choking, and so I just used CPR techniques that I've learned, and the child was okay," Leimer said.

But if you don't know CPR, Reynolds said, every second becomes life or death.

"In four to six minutes from the time the person becomes unresponsive brain and tissue death starts. In six to ten – irreversible," Reynolds said.

"That's our worst medical call is when someone's in cardiac arrest," said Captain Randy Morris with The Cape Girardeau Fire Department.

Which is why Captain Morris said everyone should know it.

"It's very helpful. That's the one thing that's going to help the patient in the long run," Captain Morris said.

Because while it hurts to lose a music legend, it's even worse to lose someone you love.

"If you have a loved one that has some cardiac issues. If you have infants, children, you care for children, you need to get out there and learn," Leimer said.

All of them say it's extremely easy to learn, and not to be intimidated, because even if you hurt the person in the process you could save their life.

Here are some Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Blackouts
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath

However, health experts say sudden cardiac arrest often occurs with no warning.

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