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Renal failure

Also called: kidney failure

Kidney failure means that kidneys have failed and no longer work well enough to keep someone alive without dialysis or a kidney transplant. The word renal refers to kidneys, so you may see both of these words used. Therefore, kidney failure and renal failure mean the same thing—your kidney function is below 10% to 15% and you need renal replacement therapy to stay alive.

If your kidney failure happened suddenly, due to a reaction to medicine, an accident or other reason, that is called acute kidney failure. Sometimes with acute renal failure, kidney function can return after a time on dialysis; however, if kidneys are permanently damaged dialysis or a transplant will replace kidney function.

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