Leeds Hospital Trust apologises for standard of care given to MF DOOM following his death

The rapper died in October 2020 due to a lack of oxygen to his brain after a reaction to a drug prescribed for blood pressure.

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MF DOOM on stage in 2009

Image credit: Roger Kisby / Getty

Leeds Hospital Trust has apologised for the standard of care it provided to rapper MF DOOM who died at the facility in October 2020 following a reaction to a prescribed drug.

The rapper and producer, who’s real name was Dumile Daniel Thompson, was admitted to St. James University Hospital in Leeds after suffering a “severe and rare reaction to blood pressure medication,” as reported by Leeds Live.

Dr Hamish McLure, chief medical officer of the Leeds teaching hospitals NHS trust has issued an apology at an inquest held following concerns raised over the care provided at the hospital: “I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Daniel’s family, friends and fans at this difficult time. I apologise that the care he received was not to the standard we would expect.

“Following his sad death we undertook a serious incident investigation and the report has been shared with Daniel’s family. As a result we have put in place a number of actions and the wider learning from what happened is to be used as a teaching topic in a number of different clinical specialities. We also support the coroner’s recommendation for clearer national guidance and awareness in this area.”

Previously, Mrs Thompson (MF DOOM’s wife) had raised “a number of concerns about her husband’s treatment,” with Wakefield Coroner’s Court. This includes claims that her husband was “unable to alert medical staff to his deteriorating condition as his ‘buzzer’ was out of reach.”

After receiving a distressed phone call from him at the time, Mrs Thompson used a “second phone to directly alert nurses who were on duty.”

She told the inquest, which has now been concluded, that she was not able to visit him “until the 31 [October]” due to COVID-19 restrictions. “That’s when the respirator was turned off that was helping him breathe,” she said.

The court heard that Mr Thompson tried to get off his hospital bed on 21 October before collapsing and going into respiratory arrest. He was allegedly under close monitoring by hospital staff and was showing signs of improvement during his stay.

As The Guardian reports, assistant coroner Janine Wolstenholme said a care plan drawn up in hospital was not sufficiently detailed and that doctors were given a “false reassurance” about the musician’s condition when his health appeared to improve.

She said that when Thompson suggested the swelling in his throat, tongue and lips were getting worse, this should have triggered a request for a review at the hospital, although it was not possible to say whether his collapse could have been avoided.

Wolstenholme described Thompson’s deterioration on 31 October 2020 as rapid, and said the reaction to the drug was rare but it was more common in smokers and people of African-Caribbean descent. Thompson was described as a moderate smoker.

The coroner said the trust accepted that doctors had not sought “specialist input” about the patient’s condition from an immunology expert. She apologised to Mrs Thompson for the time it had taken to bring the matter to the court.


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