Fort Myers doctor rejects settlement in stem cell case in which patient died


Photo by Allie Garza

Dr. Zannos Grekos, a cardiologist whose practice is in Bonita Springs, speaks with a seminar attendant after one of his educational seminars about stem cell treatment, using one's own stem cells, for treating heart disease and other medical conditions, on Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Collier County Library. Allie Garza/Staff

FORT MYERS A Fort Myers physician has rejected a settlement agreement with state regulators over his role in a stem cell treatment with a patient who later died.

The deal that Dr. Konstantine Yankopolus turned down had him paying a fine of $25,000 and the state Department of Health's case expenses of $12,200. He would have been on probation for two years with another physician indirectly supervising him.

Yankopolus, who has a primary-care practice in Fort Myers, assisted Dr. Zannos Grekos in March with the controversial stem cell treatment on a 77-year-old Indiana man, according to state reports.

Now that Yankopolus has rejected the settlement terms, which would have needed approval of the state Board of Medicine, the state is reopening its complaint against him. An administrative hearing that had been canceled when the settlement was in the works will be scheduled again.

Yankopolus declined to comment about his decision to reject the deal and take his chances with what an administrative law judge may recommend for discipline. His license is now restricted he is prohibited from doing anything with stem cells.

The patient, Richard Poling, was seeking treatment for pulmonary hypertension and went into cardiac arrest in Grekos' Bonita Springs practice and died later at a hospital.

Grekos was under a state order not to do anything with stem cells because of his similar treatment of an earlier patient, a 66-year-old breast cancer survivor. She died from her injuries after she fell in her home hours after the procedure.

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Fort Myers doctor rejects settlement in stem cell case in which patient died

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