What are the Signs of a Massive Heart Attack?

One of the most important organ of the body is the heart. As long as it is working and is pumping blood properly, we are alive. To help the heart pump blood properly, there are some muscles that help. The blood vessels send oxygenated blood to the heart and that is how these muscles pump blood. Due to deposition of cholesterol or excessive amount of fat in the blood vessels, when the heart doesn’t receive enough of the oxygenated blood, the heart tissue cells die. This is called heart attack – Myocardial Infarction (MI) in technical or medical terms.

When a large portion of the heart tissues cells die due to the lack of oxygenated blood, it is known as a massive heart attack. This can cause severe and permanent damage to the sufferer, making him/her unconscious or the person may also drop dead on the spot.

What are the Signs of a Massive Heart Attack?

What are the Signs of Massive Heart Attack?

Though every heart attack gives you warning signs way before the actual attack, in case you have a massive heart attack, here are the signs that will help you to identify.

Chest Pain: Excruciating and severe chest pain is the most significant sign of massive heart attack. The pain usually starts from around your heart and the center of your chest, and it will radiate around the left arm, back, neck and even jaws.

Breathlessness: You may have extreme difficulty in breathing if you are having massive heart attack.

Tightness: There will be a feeling of chest tightness and heaviness.

Cold Sensation: With difficulty in breathing, there will be disturbed blood flow and you will feel cold around your limbs.

Fainting: Most people faint within a short span of time in the event of a massive heart attack.

Nausea and Vomiting: Feeling like vomiting and nausea are normal.

Sweat: Profuse sweating is also common.

Cyanosis and Pale Face as a Sign of Massive Heart Attack: For a few minutes, your face will turn pale and the nails, lips and tongue may turn blue.

Though these are the usual signs of a massive heart attack, not everyone will have all of these signs and symptoms. Some may have a subtle chest pain and very few of these signs and symptoms. However, if most of these signs and symptoms match with yours, the chances are very high that you are having a massive heart attack. In that case, it is a must that you are taken to the emergency room and the doctor starts giving you treatment at once. The prognosis and success rate of surviving a massive heart attack largely depends on how fast treatment has been provided.


The condition of the heart and how much damage has been caused to the heart is a major point in question. Here, it must be mentioned that most people get warning signs of heart attack weeks before the actual attack. It is best to identify them and not ignore any chest pain, breathlessness or other signs for that matter. Many people mistake them to be caused by some other minor illnesses. However, a doctor will be able to tell you, whether your condition is caused by a heart problem or not.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 20, 2018

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