I have a table of vital signs of patients who took part in a study. Doctors visited each patient several times during the course of the clinical trial, measured their pulse, blood pressure etc. and filled this data into paper forms, which then were combined into the table.

In some table cells, I see "не заполнено" - literally "not filled" instead of, say, 36.6 °C (for body temperature). The doctor failed to fill the data into the form. What would be the acceptable ways of writing this in English?

I came up with three options:

  1. Unfilled
  2. Not filled in
  3. Not filled out

1 Answer 1


The accepted convention in statistics is for such cells to be entered as 'NA', which is an abbreviation for 'Not Available'. Statistical software can generally process NA.

  • 1
    Isn't N/A more common? I've seen N/A but never NA... Like w/o
    – user22427
    Feb 12, 2018 at 9:51
  • Note that NA can mean both not available and not applicable. It also has several specialised medical meanings.
    – JavaLatte
    Feb 12, 2018 at 10:04
  • 3
    IN statistics it is always NA. In other contexts you are right. Neither term should be confused with NAN or NaN, which mean not a number.
    – JeremyC
    Feb 12, 2018 at 10:04
  • Oops. In the same (huge) table there are indeed entries NA (the letters are in English, although the document is in Russian). So I have on my hands some cells having not filled (не заполнено) in them and some having NA, thus I can't use NA for "not filled". Feb 12, 2018 at 11:28
  • 1
    Well, doesn't that depend on whether there is some significance in the fact that both usages occur in the document? It could be that the table has been constructed by just gathering data from different sources using different conventions for NA. If you have to avoid using NA for the the unfilled cells, I would suggest your 2, which is British English. 3 is AmE.
    – JeremyC
    Feb 12, 2018 at 15:12

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