Florida stem cell cardiologist gets license suspended

 
 
 

Florida cardiologist Zannos G. Grekos, MD, had his license suspended by the Florida Department of Health after the agency determined Grekos violated an order of emergency restriction of his license by allegedly performing stem cell treatments on a patient who later died.

In January, the Florida Department of Health questioned whether Grekos' patient had signed off on the investigative stem cell treatment. The department in August 2011 alleged that Grekos performed an experimental stem cell procedure on the patient by injecting autologous bone-marrow aspirate during a cerebral angiogram procedure. The department alleged that the stem cell treatment was not authorized by the FDA.

On Feb. 23, 2011, Grekos was restricted from treating patients with stem cell treatments that included the injection of autologous bone marrow aspirate. The agency claimed that on March 2 Grekos performed a stem cell treatment on an elderly patient with pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis, which was in violation of the restrictions previously placed on Grekos’ medical license.

During the recent procedure, Grekos allegedly performed a stem cell treatment on the patient by harvesting adipose tissue from the patient’s abdomen and infusing the cells into the patient’s blood stream to treat pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis. The patient later died.

Grekos’ license has been suspended and he cannot, under state law, practice as a physician in the state of Florida.

“Grekos’ actions manifest such a pattern and propensity to practice below the appropriate standard of care that a continuation of this practice poses an immediate serious danger to the public health, safety and welfare,” according to the emergency suspension order filed by the Florida Department of Health.

“In performing this prohibited procedure, and in knowingly violating the previously issued ERO [emergency restriction order], Grekos has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the authority of the State Surgeon General and the health and safety of his patients. The fact that this act resulted in a death shows the serious nature of the threat posed by Grekos.”

The order to suspend his license was filed March 7.