Renal insufficiency appears clinically to be associated with a bleeding tendency. This has been documented in clinical settings including as a complication of medical interventions such as surgery and also in spontaneous bleeding events at gastrointestinal and intracranial sites. The pathophysiology that underlies this tendency appears to involve platelet dysfunction and an imbalance of mediators of normal endothelial function. It is also may be complicated by the co-morbidities in this population, such as vascular disease, hypertension and anemia, and the medical interventions required to treat such co-morbidities. This article reviews the evidence, the pathophysiology and the risk factors for increased bleeding in patients with chronic renal insufficiency.