Kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), means your kidneys are not working well enough for you to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant. Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease.
Kidneys are twin organs positioned in the lower abdomen. As much as one-third of all the blood pumped by the heart passes into the kidneys to be filtered before traveling to the rest of the body’s tissues. While you can live with only one functioning kidney, the loss of both kidneys leads to a rapid accumulation of wastes within a few days.