A stroke or a brain attack occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel or when a blood vessel bursts, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. An ischemic stroke occurs when the blood vessel is blocked. This is the most common type of stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed) occurs when a blood vessels breaks. This type of stroke is less common. The most important thing to remember is that the earlier a stroke victim gets to the emergency department, the better the chance that they will be able to receive treatment that stops or reduces the amount of brain damage from the stroke.