The waiting lists of the most active kidney transplant centers can vary considerably
There are currently 119,608 people waiting for organ transplants in the U.S, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Of these, 99,167 await kidney transplants.
NN&I has been ranking the 50 most active kidney transplant centers for more than a decade. The University of San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) has been in the number one spot since 2009, and in the top five for many more years. But the difference between the top five busiest transplant centers is often minimal. Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital was ranked number 2 in 2015 with 323 transplants, and UCLA Medical Center was ranked number 3 with 322. In 2014, Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami was ranked number 2, and performed only one less transplant than UCSF.
But the size of the waiting lists often vary more considerably. UCSF had 3,588 more people on its waiting list than Jackson Memorial in 2014, and Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital had 278 more people on its waiting list than UCLA Medical Center in 2015.
According to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Patients, UCSF had 5,193 patients on its kidney transplant waiting list at the start of 2015, and 5,002 at the end. So despite performing 356 kidney transplants, and losing 729 patients because they moved to other centers, deteriorated, died, or got better, their waiting list only shrunk by 192 patients.
Of course, waiting lists vary by region. The following map of US transplant regions was provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network.
Region 5, which has had three of the top five most active transplant centers on it for the last four years, has the longest waiting list. Region 6 (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington) has the shortest waiting list, and is not included in the 50 most active transplant center ranking for 2015.
The following chart, provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, shows waiting lists by region, as of Dec. 2 2016.