Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) has remained low despite advances in resuscitation science. Hospital-based extra-corporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) is a novel use of an established technology that provides greater blood flow and oxygen delivery during cardiac arrest than closed chest compressions. Hospital-based ECPR is currently offered to selected OHCA patients in specialized centres. The interval between collapse and restoration of circulation is inversely associated with good clinical outcomes after ECPR. Pre-hospital delivery of ECPR concurrent with conventional resuscitation is one approach to shortening this interval and improving outcomes after OHCA. This article examines the background and rationale for pre-hospital ECPR; summarises the findings of a literature search for published evidence; and considers candidate selection, logistics, and complications for this complex intervention.