Complications of Tracheostomy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding - Restricted Access

Publication Date



A 66 year old female with a history of hypertension presented to the EC with 3 days of worsening headache, right eye pain, and fever. Upon admission she was found to have right superior opthalmic vein thrombosis with intracranial abscess. The patient's neurologic status deteriorated and remained intubated for 2 weeks requiring a percutaneous, converted to open, tracheostomy. Within 12 hours of tracheostomy insertion, she developed severe subcutaneous emphysema in her left eye and face, causing ventilatory dyssynchrony requiring immediate intervention. This case will explore the complications of tracheostomy, as well as the pathophysiology and differential diagnosis of subcutaneous emphysema.


American Society of Anesthesiology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 9-11, 2021.