Tracheostomy is necessary in intensive care unit (ICU) patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. As an alternative to the standard surgical method, percutaneous techniques are available. Seventy-two patients were electively selected for percutaneous tracheostomy (PCT) in a nine-bed combined medical-surgical intensive care unit. PCT was performed at bedside with the Portex Percutaneous Tracheostomy Kit that uses the Griggs technique. The procedure time and early complications were recorded. The procedure was successful in all patients. The average duration of placement was 7.4 min. There were no tracheostomy-related deaths. Major bleeding occurred in three patients and required surgical intervention. In one patient, minor bleeding occurred at the stoma site that resolved with applied pressure. Wound infections were treated with local antiseptics in two patients. These findings suggest that PCT is a simple, quick and safe procedure.