SUMMARY Ciaglia Blue Rhino percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy is used as an aid to ventilatory weaning. It caries an immediate complication rate previously reported in 100 consecutive patients by Fikkers et al at 6% for "major" complications and 30% for "minor" complications. Mortality has been associated with the procedure. Our institution has performed dilatational percutaneous tracheostomy since 1998 and used the Blue Rhino technique since 2002. Consensus guidelines were developed following initial experiences. They focus on preoperative risk assessment including levels of ventilatory support and anatomical considerations, seniority of staff, use of bronchoscopy and capnography and correction of coagulopathies. Following introduction of the guidelines we conducted an audit of the first 200 Ciaglia Blue Rhino tracheostomies performed. There was an immediate major complication rate of 3% and minor complication rate of 18%. No deaths occurred within 24 hours of the procedure. We conclude that applying our consensus guidelines produced an immediate complication rate for Ciaglia Blue Rhino percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy below published audits.