A case of fulminant falciparum malaria with a 35% parasitaemia, shock and subcoma was treated successfully by using parenteral chemotherapy, exchange transfusion, dexamethasone, circulatory support and mechanical ventilation. Pathophysiology and complications of falciparum malaria are discussed. The treatment of severe malaria should aim for a fast reduction in parasitaemia and toxic products. An exchange transfusion can be additive to parenteral chemotherapy. Blocking the over-reacting cell-mediated immune response, aggressive shock treatment, prevention of secondary infections and maintaining normoglycaemia might reduce morbidity and mortality of fulminant falciparum malaria.