Anti-fever drugs will not reduce fever in patients with a heat stroke New Delhi, May 29, 2016: Over 300 people have died across India because of the ongoing heat wave. Heat strokes are a medical emergency, and death can be prevented if treatment is initiated early. The most common mistake that is made while treating a patient with high fever due to a heat stroke is giving him/her anti-fever medicines and waiting for it to respond, said Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, Hony. Secretary General, IMA & President HCFI. The only treatment of very high fever in cases of heat stroke is the rapid reduction of the patient's body temperature by physical means. Rapid reduction in body temperature can be accomplished by cool or tepid ( 20-degree centigrade) bathing preferably using damp sponges. Submersion should be avoided so that body heat loss by evaporation can occur. Cooling blankets should also be avoided. When suffering from a heat stroke, the core body temperature is usually more than 40-degree centigrade and the patient rapidly develops an altered mental status. If not treated in time patients run the risk of dying of multi-organ failure. 'The difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is the presence of sweat in the former and absence in the latter', added Dr Aggarwal. Till the patient's armpits are wet, he is said to be suffering from a heat exhaustion and not heat stroke.