A descriptive analysis and comparison of critically ill transported patients with non-transported patients will assist in selecting the appropriate referral and transportation process and subsequent incorporation into the critical care services of receiving hospitals. A retrospective review of transported and non-transported patients admitted to the same Intensive Care Unit was conducted. Patient demographics, disease categories, source of admission to ICU, APACHE II scores, predicted and actual hospital mortality, hospital and ICU length of stay were examined. Of all ICU admissions, 16% were transported. Transported patients had a different case mix, significantly higher severity of illness measures, mortality and length of ICU stay. Observed mortality of transported patients with sepsis, gastrointestinal disease or bleeding, intracranial haemorrhage and post respiratory arrest was less than predicted whilst those with neurological disease, post cardiac arrest and overdose had a higher than predicted mortality.