Her child’s nose was bleeding, explained the mother. Could I come?
I was tempted. Once in the hotel room, I would ask questions. I would take out my otoscope and peer up the child’s nose. In the end I would reassure the mother and tell her to pinch the nose and wait. The bleeding would probably stop. Persistent nosebleeds are rare and require expert attention. Then I would collect my fee and leave.
Over the phone, the mother revealed that the child was in good health and suffering a cold. Respiratory infections occasionally produce a nosebleed. I reassured the mother and told her to pinch the nose and wait. When I phoned later, the bleeding had stopped.