'We need your help': Sparrow Health System asks patients to be mindful of ER use amid overcrowding

Lansing, Mich.-based Sparrow Health System's emergency department is regularly experiencing a backup of patients, and the hospital is now asking patients to consider seeking care for non-life-threatening issues elsewhere. 

"We need your help," the health system said in an Aug. 10 post on its Facebook page, adding the emergency department at its flagship hospital in Lansing, Mich., is "very busy." 

"Seek other Sparrow sites of care when appropriate," the health system said in its post, directing residents to consider its community hospital EDs, urgent care centers and walk-in clinics. The reminders to the public come as some patients have waited up to 48 hours in the ED, local CBS affiliate WLNS reported. 

"Start with something that makes sense to you," Amy Brown, MSN, Sparrow Health System's chief nursing officer, told WLNS. "Obviously if it's life-threatening, you do want to seek out an emergency department. Also knowing that when you get to one of those other sites of care, if you do need that higher level of care, they will transfer you to make sure you get what you need." 

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