World Prematurity Day November 17th

Honor the million babies worldwide who died this year because they were born too soon, and the 12 million more who struggle to survive. November 17 is World Prematurity Day; together we can raise awareness of this serious problem and help more babies start healthy lives.  For more information on World Prematurity Day visit the March of Dimes website.

At Mission Hospital, any newborn who is ill or premature is treated in our state-designated neonatal intensive care unit. Approximately 600 babies begin their lives in our unit each year, some of whom are born barely weighing one pound while others require complex surgeries at only a few days old.

The hospital’s fifty-one-bed NICU, which opened in 2002, serves as the state’s highest level of designated care for seventeen counties in western North Carolina. Many of these babies are transported to Mission Hospital from other hospitals by the Infant Transport Team. Our NICU accommodates any sick neonate requiring intensive care, except for those requiring surgical intervention for heart disease.

Mission Hospital’s expert team of neonatologists, nurses and therapists make sure these infants and their families receive the most advanced neonatal care and support. With the support of the Neonatal Development Follow-up Program working with families and children to identify developmental delays and create a course of therapy that will assist in the development up to 2 years of age.

In addition to being the place where staff care for babies with serious threats to their health, the NICU is also where parents learn how to care for their newborn in the NICU’s spacious parenting rooms.

Here’s how Mission’s NICU measures up versus the National Average*

52% fewer incidents of chronic lung disease
68% lower rate of severe retinopathy of prematurity
53% fewer late infections
23% shorter length of stay

*Results from the Vermont Oxford Network, which facilitates an international quality collaborative focused on improving neonatal care and maintains a benchmarking database of 56,000 babies as of 2011.