Today around 18,000 people are registered as SMS Lifeguards, and with over three million Swedes trained in CPR, the potential to recruit even more is great.
SMS Lifeguards represents a combination of medicine, social sciences, IT and volunteering that improves otherwise very low survival rates in the most acute conditions. More fundamentally, a key feature of SMS Lifeguards is that it is condi-tioned by social trust, which is at a high level in the Nordic countries, according to all available research.
A research project involving Karolinska Institutet and Södersjukhuset, in collaboration with SOS Alarm and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, developed SMS Lifeguards. Now run by a commercial enterprise, the system is currently in operation in various regions throughout Sweden.
Ongoing research on the system and its impact on survival rates shows that SMS Lifeguards arrived before the ambulance more than 50% of the time. More research is needed, however, to establish how many lives have been saved thanks to SMS Lifeguards.