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The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides critical care to newborns who are ill or premature. Many factors may lead to a newborn being admitted to the NICU, including low birth weight or complications during delivery. The NICU staff works closely with parents to develop a treatment plan for their newborn.

Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Asheville, North Carolina

If your newborn needs critical care, we are standing by 24/7.

Mission Hospital is home to the region's only Level III NICU, where your newborn receives gentle, attentive care when they need it most. We tailor your child's care plan to their unique needs, while also supporting you and your family.

Features and services of our NICU

Neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners lead your child's care team, along with neonatal nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists and other infant-focused specialists.

Specialized neonatal care

Our NICU is equipped to stabilize infants who are born before 32 weeks gestation, or weigh less than 3.3 pounds. We can also treat any infant, regardless of gestational age or weight, who is born with a critical illness.

Your child's care team is expertly trained in critical care practices, and have access to specialists that include pediatric surgeons, ophthalmologists and anesthesiologists. Our NICU also has advanced imaging technology and can provide comprehensive respiratory support.

Most importantly, we actively partner with you and your family so you feel supported and confident in your child's care.

Infant transport team

Our NICU utilizes an infant transport team that serves the counties of Western North Carolina, and can also travel to Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Each year, approximately 200 infants are transferred to our hospital to receive care from our experienced neonatalogists and neonatal care teams.

Highly skilled specialists on this transport team bring your child to our hospital using advanced medical equipment, which includes a heat source, so your newborn stays comfortable. Our neonatologist stays in constant contact with the transport team so we are prepared to continue their care immediately upon arrival.

NICU remote cameras

While we encourage you to visit your infant in the NICU as much as possible, factors like distance and work can interfere. Our NICU is equipped with video monitoring for every child so you and your family can see your baby through a secure network.

NICU support services

During this uncertain experience, we want to support you and your family as much as possible by providing numerous resources aimed at making your life easier. Rathbun House offers free, nearby lodging for families with loved ones in our hospital. Our on-staff social workers can help you navigate the often complex systems of supports and NICU services. The family support network can give you social and emotional support, information and skills training both onsite and after your child is discharged.

If your child will need ongoing care after they leave the NICU, our staff prepare you with supportive items and information that help you make the transition home as you move forward with your child's development and education. Some of our ongoing support services include:

  • DD Plus (program for children who have a developmental disability plus behavioral health needs)
  • Family Advisory Council (offers potential parent leadership opportunities)
  • Information about homeschooling for interested families
  • Information about summer and day camps for children and teens with special needs
  • Lending libraries (materials for parents on topics related to special needs
  • Monthly newsletter with current topics and events
  • Notebooks for general care and mental health care
  • Referrals to local in-home and out-of-the-home services
  • Resources about the transition to adulthood for children with special needs
  • Resources for advocating for your child’s needs at school
  • Social security benefits information
  • Stepping Stones Triple P (educational program backed by evidence to help parents who have a child with disabilities)

Huff Center Therapies

Some infants need continued support, have ongoing medical needs or are at risk for developmental delays after leaving the NICU. In these cases, our Developmental Follow-Up Program can help. With both inpatient care and developmental outpatient services, our program has physical, occupational and speech therapists who identify and treat developmental issues related to your child's growth, motor skills, nutrition and general health.

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The Great 100 Nurses 2022 

August 24, 2022
We couldn't provide the amazing patient care and support to folks in our Mission Health community without these incredible nurses.

The Great 100 Nurses 2022 

August 24, 2022
We couldn't provide the amazing patient care and support to folks in our Mission Health community without these incredible nurses.