Unplanned transfers to intensive care units (ICUs) not only have higher mortality rates, but also consume more medical resources, yet few publications could be found which report survival forecasts for unplanned transfers to ICUs. This study adopts the Cox proportional hazards model to investigate patient survival after unplanned transfer to intensive care from the emergency department within 24 hours of admission. The sampling period was for 6 years, from January 2008 to December 2013, and demographic and clinical variables were collected from 1,462 unplanned transfers to the comprehensive ICU of a regional hospital in Taipei, which occurred within 24 hours after emergency admission. Males and the elderly comprise the majority of the sampling data, which show that the post-ICU death group has a higher average age than that of the surviving group. Our research results indicate that the only risk factors with statistical significance are the APACHE II score for patients without head injuries and also both the gender and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) for the unplanned transfers who are suffering from traumatic brain injury, where females have 1.75 times the risk of their male counterparts.