The Government Rajaji Hospital in Chennai will soon get a liquefied oxygen plant, the first in the State to be installed in a Government hospital or medical college.

Said the Dean (in-charge), S.M. Sivakumar, $quot;With the installation, transportation of oxygen cylinders can be avoided, decongesting the corridors and saving manpower. The hazards in handling and storing cylinders can also be shunned.$quot;

At present, 70 cylinders, each with a capacity of six kilolitres, are consumed every four days. The plant will also ensure the safety of gas dispensing with high-pressure regulators, needed to reduce pressure.
Each oxygen cylinder could not be emptied completely, he said, as it would have at least a $quot;dead weight$quot; of one kl oxygen left behind and this wastage can now be avoided. The 10-kl tank, costing Rs.3m ($70,000), is being provided free by Inox Air Products, a Chennai-based company. The tank will provide liquid oxygen for a minimum of 20 days, after which the company will refill it.

The company had been asked to install the requisite infrastructure for the tank, at an estimated cost of Rs.0.5m ($12,000), which would be borne by the hospital. It included connecting the three manifolds of the hospital, one below the main block, in the paediatric ward and Obstetrics and Gynaecology ward, to provide centralised liquid oxygen supply, Dr. Sivakumar said.

A licence for storing the explosive material should be obtained. The oxygen tank ensures a purity level of 99.5 per cent since the gas is in liquefied form and obtained directly from air separation plant with manufacturers' test certificate or quality certificate. $quot;The purity factor became vital when treating coma patients,$quot; said Dr. Sivakumar. $quot;This system will save coma patients, those who are on ventilators and people with breathing problems.$quot;