Sometimes it's hard to know what kind of care is needed and where you should go to get it. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

What is an emergency?

An emergency is a serious medical condition or symptom (including severe pain) caused by an injury, illness or mental illness, that arises suddenly and requires immediate care and treatment to avoid disability or death.

If you believe as a reasonable person that without immediate care and treatment your life or health is in jeopardy, you should go to the emergency room.

If you have any of the following symptoms, go to the ER:

  • Signs of a heart attack–including but not limited to chest pain–that last two minutes or longer
  • Signs of stroke, like sudden onset of numbness in any extremity
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Bleeding that won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Poisoning
  • Complicated fractures
  • Major injury such as head injury
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

When should I call my primary care physician?

Unless you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, start by calling your primary care physician.

Many primary care physicians stay open later and on weekends to provide access for their patients, and most have after-hours coverage by phone. You may be able to speak with your physician, or with another physician on call, to determine if you need immediate care or if you can be seen the next day.

When should I go to an urgent care center?

If your physician is not available, or it is after hours and you feel the condition can't wait until the next day, go to an urgent care center.

Some reasons to go to urgent care include:

  • Earaches
  • Minor cuts where bleeding is controlled
  • Sprains
  • Skin rashes
  • Colds, coughs, sore throats
  • Most fevers, although if there is a convulsion or extreme fever in a child, go to the ER.

These guidelines are not a substitute for the advice of a physician.

When should I go to a FastCare clinic?

If you are seeking basic medical services for common, non-life-threatening conditions, FastCare is a more affordable option than a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Patients must be 18 months or older and some age restrictions apply for select services. FastCare does not provide on-site X-rays, stitches, or treatment for broken bones.

Some reasons to go to FastCare include:

  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Routine camp and sports physicals
  • Immunizations (influenza, tetanus)
  • Minor sunburn and minor rashes

These guidelines are not a substitute for the advice of a physician.

Sparrow ER Facilities

Sparrow Hospital, First Floor
1215 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing MI 48912
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Open 24 hours

Sparrow's Emergency Department is one of the state's most advanced, providing emergency and trauma care services to more than 100,000 adult and pediatric patients from throughout mid-Michigan each year.

Sparrow has earned the highest level of trauma center certification. It is the mid-Michigan region's only Verified Level 1 Trauma Center for adult and pediatric patients and is the first Michigan hospital to be designated as a Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.

Sparrow has trauma surgeons in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to care for severely injured patients. An operating room is ready at all times for trauma cases. Sparrow's trauma team also includes board certified emergency physicians, specially trained registered nurses experienced in emergency care, and skilled emergency technicians.

Sparrow Clinton Hospital, St. Johns
805 S. Oakland Street
St. Johns MI 48879
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Open 24 hours, 365 days per year

The people of Clinton County and its surrounding communities receive Sparrow's high-quality emergency healthcare services at Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns. Services are provided by board certified emergency physicians, registered nurses and emergency department technicians.

Sparrow Ionia Hospital
3565 S. State Road
Ionia MI 48846
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Open 24 hours, 365 days per year

Ionia joined the Sparrow family January 1, 2010, the next step in a successful partnership between the two organizations that began in 2006. Ionia County residents now receive Sparrow's high-quality emergency healthcare services close to home. Services are provided by board certified emergency physicians, registered nurses and emergency department technicians.

Sparrow Carson Hospital
406 E. Elm Street
Carson City MI 48811
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Open 24 hours, 365 days per year

A Level III emergency room staffed and equipped to provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A physician is on site at all times. The medical staff provides treatment for minor cuts and abrasions, earaches, sore throat, fever, cough, colds, flu and many other minor illnesses and procedures. Emergency radio communications are established with Montcalm County Ambulance and the EMS personnel are ACLS certified. Helicopter and ground Mobile Intensive Care transfers to tertiary facilities are available when necessary.

Sparrow's Urgent Care Facilities

When it's not an emergency but you still need care right away–and your primary care physician is not available–Sparrow's Urgent Care facilities are there for you! They're open days and evenings seven days a week.

Sparrow Urgent Care
2682 E. Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, MI 48823
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Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week
Sparrow Urgent Care
800 E. Columbia Street
Mason, MI 48854
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Open 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week
Sparrow Urgent Care
1015 Charlevoix Drive
Grand Ledge, MI 48837
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Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week

Sparrow FastCare Clinics

A more affordable option than a hospital emergency room or urgent care center when you are seeking basic medical services for common, non-life-threatening conditions.

Sparrow FastCare, Frandor area
716 N. Clippert Street
Lansing, MI 48912
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Hours:
Monday-Friday | 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed 2-2:30 p.m. for lunch | Closed Christmas
Sparrow FastCare, DeWitt Meijer
12821 Cross Over Drive
DeWitt, MI 48820
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Hours:
Monday-Friday | 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed 2-2:30 p.m. for lunch | Closed Christmas
Sparrow FastCare, Okemos Meijer
2055 W. Grand River Avenue
Okemos, MI 48864
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Hours:
Monday-Friday | 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed 2-2:30 p.m. for lunch | Closed Christmas