NICU Cleanslate machine kills bacteria on cellphones to keep babies healthy

For newborn babies at Winner Palmer Hospital's NICU, each day can be a battle that requires extra care.

Now a new piece of equipment is helping them fight the odds and bacteria. It starts with disinfecting your cell phone.

“How she doin?” Kyle Hales asked his wife Jill. “She’s doing good,” she said.

Hadley Faith Hales is now four pounds 12 ounces and three months old.

“You’re so cute,” Jill Hales said to her baby.

Hadley has been at the NICU since February.

Her parents were vacationing in Florida from Utah when the unexpected happened.

“I had been at the pool for awhile,” Jill Hales said. “Everything was fine. Then I had some severe abdominal pain.I was bleeding internally. My first though goes to ‘I’m only 23 weeks and six days – I mean – can a baby survive that young?’”

“As it was told to me several times by the doctors and nurses – there was a good chance that you would’ve been going home alone had you guys not ended up here,” Kyle Hales said.

Both Mom and baby survived the hours long surgery.

“I remember being wheeled to her isolate and seeing her and just thinking…’ I wanna touch her. I wanna hold her, but I don’t dare because she’s so fragile,” she said. “She’s so little.”

Weighing just one pound eight ounces.

“That’s probably the hardest thing about having a NICU baby – is not being able to hold them when they’re first born,” Jill Hales said.

But she waited 25 days.

“A very long anticipated moment,” she said. “Made all of the uncertainties of the first few weeks well worth it.”

Now that Jill, Kyle and their four kids can hold baby Hadley, they must be extra careful.

“They’re at such a high risk for infection,” she said.

Even when it comes to taking cell phone photos. That’s why all personal items must first go in the NICU’s Cleanslate machine.

“Thirty seconds is all it takes and the UV light kills all the bacteria on it,” Joanne Vano, the NICU nursing operations manager said. “We’ve seen a drastic decrease in the number of infections in our babies.”

Which is helping premature babies like Hadley thrive.

“She’s a fighter,” her mother said.

It may still be another month or more before baby Hadley is able to go home with her family.