In a review of 1,928 tracheostomies, 100 of which were performed at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, the overall complication rate is 15.8%. The most common complications in order of frequency are hemorrhage, infection, obstruction, and displaced tube. The overall mortality rate is 1.6%.
The two most common causes of death are hemorrhage and displaced tube. A technique of tracheostomy is described which would decrease the incidence of mortality in the displaced tube. It is clear from this review that there is high morbidity and mortality following tracheostomy.
John Y. Chew, Robert W. Cantrell. TracheostomyComplications and Their Management. Arch Otolaryngol. 1972;96(6):538–545. doi:10.1001/archotol.1972.00770090816008