How do you separate your personal life from your professional life? Not easily. And if you're on the emergency room staff of Chicago's County General Hospital, it may be impossible. As a third-year resident, former nurse Abby Lockhart asserts her authority in the ER, but the stress and complications of raising a child cause a rift between her and Dr. Luka Kovac. And while Chief of Staff Kerry Weaver remains determined at work, she finds herself at a personal crossroads as both a woman and a mother.
In the overburdened emergency room of Chicago's County General Hospital, a Level One Trauma Center and teaching hospital, the difference between life and death often rests on split-second decisions.
Abby's overbearing mother, Maggie, arrives at the hospital to comfort Abby and Kovac as their newborn son's life hangs in the balance.
Pratt assumes his new role as attending physician but gets stuck with the task of dealing with all the new interns. When an older man is brought in to the emergency room with congestive heart failure, Pratt assigns Gates to assess his condition.
Gates copes with his complicated living situation. After trying to juggle work and a new baby, Abby and Kovac contemplate hiring help.
Returning to work after her maternity leave, Abby worries that she has lost her skills. Abby and Pratt try an unconventional method for treating a heart patient in the hope of avoiding a more invasive procedure.
Fearing the worst, Kovac anxiously awaits the decision of a jury in the case pitting him against Curtis Ames (recurring guest star FOREST WHITAKER).
Abby and Kovac finally decide to hire a nanny to care for their son, but they are troubled by the potential candidates. During a trip to the park with her child, Abby inadvertently meets Curtis Ames.
Abby and Kovac argue about a diagnosis when a woman comes in with signs of spousal abuse. Weaver is unexpectedly called into action while doing a news report at a school.
Although it's Thanksgiving, the emergency room is far from quiet. Abby is about to head home when she is forced to respond to a bus crash on the side of a ravine.
Pratt has a tough time coming to terms with the discovery of his brother's sexual orientation. Outside his apartment, Kovac spots Ames but Kovac chooses not to tell Abby.
With the holiday spirit in full effect, romances heat up the emergency room. Meanwhile, after a homeless boy convinces Gates and Ray to help his friend, who is in critical condition, Gates breaks his promise and calls children's services.
When a patient dies after being prescribed the wrong medication, Pratt and medical student Hope (recurring guest star BUSY PHILLIPS) wonder if they are responsible.
Kovac gets jealous when Abby gives too much attention to a patient, Eddie Jackson. Gates' roommate, Meg pulls a deadly stunt when Gates moves out of the apartment.
Gates and Neela try to revive Meg after they find her unconscious in her car. Sam suspects she may know who set fire to her home.
Abby and Sam try to treat an obnoxious aspiring comedian, Simon (FREDDY RODRIGUEZ), with mysterious symptoms. Pratt gets into trouble as he is questioned about the death of a patient.
When a woman comes into the emergency room with acute liver failure, Gates and Kovac are faced with a moral dilemma. Neela also ponders right and wrong when a patient offers to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.
Abby and Pratt race to save a family that got stranded in the snow and is now suffering from frostbite. Meanwhile, Neela gets jealous when Dubenko (recurring guest star LELAND ORSER) brings in a new surgical intern.
Sam and Morris are caught off guard when a photographer, Diana Moore (recurring guest star ANNABELLA SCIORRA - "The Sopranos"), comes into the emergency room taking photographs alongside a terminally ill patient.
When a young man, Danny Rutley, comes into the emergency room with heart failure, Kovac and Gates must deal with Danny's helpless father, Wayne.
In a busy emergency room, Kovac feels the pressure to take care of the overflow of cases before the area is shut down for renovations. A lonely Sam befriends terminally ill photojournalist Diana Moore, who has a negative outlook.
All of the emergency room staffers are surprised when they arrive for the department dinner and find out that surprise nuptials are about to happen.
Kovac and Abby get used to their new roles as husband and wife, while Hope and Morris enjoy Kovac and Abby's unused honeymoon suite. Pratt hopes to change his womanizing ways as he tries to win over someone new.
In the 13th season finale, to the chagrin of the County General staff, the new chief, Moretti (recurring guest star STANLEY TUCCI), makes some major changes in the emergency room.