In Texas, where everything is the biggest, the Texas Transplant Physician Group says they are the biggest "in Texas AND the United States."
"Our Living Paired Donor Kidney Transplant team made history in November, 2010, with the world's largest paired donor kidney transplant donor chain--with 16 transplants completed over three days. The 17th donor's "bridge" kidney was used to start another chain in December--extending the record-breaking chain to 23--still the largest single center kidney donor chain in the world! The kidney recipients ranged in age from 17 to 69 and all were transplanted with fully matched kidneys without the need for desensitization therapy. Dr. Adam Bingaman, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Surgeon and Director of the Live Donor Kidney Transplant Program with Texas Transplant Physician Group is planning to extend the chain further in January, 2011.
"Read the local and national coverage this donor chain generated in our Kidney News section."
A story in the LA Times about a procedural error gives some insight into transplant procedures: Wrong patient got kidney at USC
"USC University Hospital halted kidney transplants last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles.
"The patient who received the wrong kidney escaped harm, apparently because the kidney happened to be an acceptable match, said Bryan Stewart, spokesman for the program, OneLegacy, which was notified of the error by the hospital.
"The hospital, which performs about two transplants a week, confirmed in a statement that it had voluntarily halted transplants Jan. 29 after a "process error" was discovered. The hospital did not detail the nature of the error and declined to answer questions. It said no patients were harmed.
"In general, immediately after a kidney is removed from a donor, it is placed in a plastic container with a screw-on lid. That container, labeled with an identification number, is then placed inside three sterile plastic bags, which are placed on ice in another container.
"The nurses in the operating room and the surgeon must check for the ID number on the kidney and compare that with the patient ID number," Klintmalm said.
"It is the operating room surgeon's responsibility to make sure the numbers match," he said. "You sign forms before you start the surgery."
Flip Klijn writes: "Recently, several towns in the Netherlands started discussing the possibility to ask citizens directly whether they are willing to sign a donor form (i.e., to give permission for organ transplants at the time of decease) when they visit the city hall to pick up a driver's license or a passport. In Amsterdam, both left-wing and right-wing political parties seem to agree that this is a good idea: http://www.metronieuws.nl/regionaal/gemeente-amsterdam-ja-tegen-nieuw-plan-donoren/SrZkcu!QfBmXR4HMGY/
(There are already similar proposals in Rotterdam and The Hague. And probably for the US this is not something new.) In another city (Breda) they stopped asking "because citizens apparently did not like to be asked" (according to the city hall): http://www.bredavandaag.nl/nieuws/politiek/40539/2010-12-14/gemeente-breda-negeert-motie-d66