BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS42 Community) — Is one of your legs swollen? Is the swelling painful? That could be a sign of a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.

With DVT, a blood clot forms in one of the body’s main veins that return blood to the heart. If this clot is large and dislodges, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, which can kill you. Dr. Alvaro Aldana is working with the team at Grandview Medical Center to reduce the risks associated with DVT.

“Some blood clots go from your thigh all the way to below your knee. And if that dislodges and goes up to your heart, those are the ones that are called massive pulmonary embolism, and they could close off your pulmonary artery. Deep vein thrombosis usually is related to prolonged immobilization, with surgery, prolonged travel, like overseas travel,” said Aldana.

The signs for DVT require quick attention.

“Sudden onset of shortness of breath. They have chest pains that usually worsens with deep inspirations. They could have passing out spells. And ultimately they could have sudden death from pulmonary embolism.”

Cardiologists at Grandview are working to manage vein disorders to help diminish the possibility of DVT.

There is a tendency now in developing what we call PERT teams. Pulmonary Embolism Response teams that have recognized the importance and the severity of pulmonary embolism.

Taking prescription blood thinners can help manage the risk associated with DVT, and simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. The cardiology team at Grandview Medical Center is working to develop new therapies to lower your risk even more. To find out how, visit